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Government allows LGBTQ Israelis to become parents from surrogacy

Beginning Jan. 11, same-sex couples, single men and members of the transgender community in Israel will be eligible to parent children through surrogacy, Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz announced on Tuesday. This new directive overturns a previous ban on the option.

The new initiative was presented by Horowitz in a press briefing, with Israel’s High Court of Justice ruling in favor. The health minister said the ruling will enable “future fathers, gay couples and essentially every person in Israel equal access to surrogacy in Israel.”

Horowitz, an openly gay Knesset Member, added a personal statement: “This is an exciting day for me, as a gay minister who is well aware of the exclusion and discrimination against us over the years. It’s my personal struggle too.”

“Today we put an end to injustice and discrimination. Everyone has the right to parenthood,” Horowitz said. “We have become one of the most advanced countries in the world in this area,” he added.

Health Ministry Director-General Nachman Ash commented that the ruling is based on the principle of equality, which the government values. “We see great importance in making an important medical service accessible to the general population, just as we make other medical services accessible,” Ash said.

The ruling ends a more than 11-year-old legal court battle that began in 2010 with a petition filed by a homosexual couple, Etai Pinkas Arad and Yoav Arad Pinkas. They welcomed the announcement, calling it  “a victory and historic day.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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