An Israeli Health Ministry committee has made some radical recommendations about fertility and birth policies last week, including allowing gay men to use a surrogate mother to conceive a child. The report was sparked by a 2 year legal battle by Itay Pinkas and Yoav Arad, a gay couple who went to India to hire a surrogate. Pinkas, a gay rights activist, requested the Health Ministry allow them to hire an Israeli surrogate but were denied.
The report includes recommendations for:
Extending the legal right to conceive children using a surrogate mother to gay men and single women
Allowing married men and women to undergo fertility treatment with people other than their spouses without notifying them
Removing anonymity from sperm donation so that children can learn the identity of their genetic father when they reach the age of 18.
Currently, only married couples are permitted to use surrogate mothers. The report recommends that men gain the right to use surrogate mothers, but they will not be allowed to use paid surrogates but only "altruistic surrogates", women who volunteer to carry a child for free. Shlomo Mor Yosef, who led the committee, explained the reasoning behind these provisions:
"The rationale behind the limiting of use of surrogates by men was the fear of a major growth in the number of women forced to become surrogate mothers as a way to mitigate financial woes," Mor Yosef said. "We didn't want the competition over this 'limited resource', surrogate mothers, to become too economically aggressive, leading to a substantial rise in the price of the process." ~ The Times of Israel, May 20; Haaretz, May 20
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