Fields of Practice

Parentage, Surrogacy and Adoption

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In many cases when you see how parents deal with their kids you cynically say to yourself, “If only one needed a license to be a parent.” However, there are cases where such a “license” is actually required such as when two people both seek to be recognized as the child’s parents, with only one being the genetic parent. When it comes to same-sex spouses, a “parental order” is, unfortunately, the only way in which the State will recognize a non-genetic parent as a parent in common.

As early as the year 2000, the Israeli Supreme Court recognized a US Court-approved adoption, the adoptee being a woman co-habiting with the genetic mother. About five years later, the Supreme Court also allowed a spouse to adopt her life-partner’s son even without an adoption order first having been made outside of Israel. However, until 2012, same-sex couples were not able to be considered as joint parents in Israel except by way of adoption. In 2012, for the first time in Israel, a Court issued a “parental order” – an order whereby the Court recognized two spouses who lived together as the mothers of a child, one being the genetic mother who produced the egg and the other the physiological mother who carried the pregnancy. Two years later, the Supreme Court also recognized joint parenting in the case of surrogacy procedures performed outside Israel, thus allowing both same-sex spouses who have given birth to a child through surrogacy procedures outside Israel to be recognized in Israel as the baby’s parents. It is the order that creates the parenthood (and not only declares it) and therefore (and in contrast to other countries in the world), it is not possible to seek the parental order before birth, however, it may grant retroactive recognition. Thus, for example, in a March 2018 Tel Aviv District Court case, two spouses who entered a surrogacy agreement with a U.S. citizen mother were recognized as the fathers, with the recognition retroactive to the date the U.S. ruling severed the surrogate mother’s relationship with the newborn. Our firm assists Israeli couples and individuals in surrogacy in the United States and in the arranging of the whole process, including with the clinic, contracting with the surrogate agency and contracting with the surrogate, including work together with the American representative attorneys, all through English-speaking attorneys who will liaison with the American service providers.

Citizenship and status in Israel:
Before arriving in Israel, our firm will accompany you in arranging the newborn status in Israel and the relationship with the parent, whether it is genetic recognition and paternity determination, citizenship by genetic recognition or non-genetic parenting by way of parenting order or adoption.
Family Unit Agreements:
As part of the family unit planning, our office will assist you in drafting the agreement that will define the family unit you wish to establish, while providing advice and adapting it to your unique family structure - including drawing up a prenuptial or joint life agreement (according to the unique circumstances of each case), joint parenting agreement ( In a situation where non-spouse parents plan to raise a child together), or a parenting agreement between partners planning to raise a child together when there is no genetic connection to the child.
Will and enduring power of attorney

Notary Services - Occasionally, and depending on the state in which the surrogacy process is conducted, you will be required to present certificates that are notarized, including a power of attorney. Our office is authorized to provide notary services and can, within the services provided, also make such certificates. Read more in the chapter describing notarial services.

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