Lesbians kissing at a Love Parade in Tel Aviv in 2002.
published Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Gay and lesbian couples in Israel will be allowed the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples, the Israeli government announced Tuesday.
Prior to Attorney General Menachem Mazuz's announcement Sunday, the government had not allowed gays to adopt children through the Welfare and Social Services Ministry's Child Welfare Service. For gay families, the child must have been one of the partners' biological offspring in order for his or her partner to adopt that child.
"I welcome the decision," Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog said in a press release. "There is no reason same-sex couples who meet the criteria for adoption should not be able to join the process of adoption and of parenthood. We must adapt to the spirit of the times and the changes that are afoot."
Mazuz emphasized that he was addressing only the legal constraints of the law. Just as heterosexual couples, prospective same-sex couples' requests to adopt would be handled on a case-by-case basis.
Herzog first brought up the possibility of legalized adoption by gay and lesbian couples when he announced his decision to review the increased number of applications by same-sex couples seeking to adopt. (The Advocate)