Requests to adopt partner’s baby doubles among same-sex couples, according to data published by Social Affairs Ministry
The Ministry of Social Affair’s adoption overhaul: The numbers of same-sex families who adopted children has doubled during the past year, according to data published Monday by the ministry.
Until recently, same-sex families in Israel were not able to adopt children in the traditional way. Women, who were living with their female partners and gave birth, were considered single parents, while their partners received no special status.
Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog introduced a reform to adoption regulations, which allowed women to officially adopt the children of their partners.
In 2009, 72 female couples took advantage of the new regulation, in contrast with only 30 couples the year before.
“The leading principle of the ministry is the welfare of the child,” Minster Herzog said in reference to the initiative.
The next stage Herzog is planning will also enable male couples to officially adopt the biological child of their partner, born to a surrogate mother in Israel or abroad.
Dan Goldberg, who had twins with his partner Arnon Angel using a surrogate mother in India, was encouraged by the planned reform. “The data shows that the public is becoming more susceptive to same-sex couples,” he said on Sunday, “More couples are daring and giving it a try.”
Although a large increase has been recorded in the number of general requests for adoption, from 466 requests in 2005 to 570 request in the past year, the Social Affairs Ministry noted that it was difficult to find families who are willing to adopt grown children, infants over 2 years of age and babies with special needs.
Social Affairs Ministry Director General Nahum Itzkovitz on Sunday urged families to adopt children with special needs, and noted that “families that show noble spirits and choose to adopt these kids, will receive aid for their required needs.”