A parental order may not be granted in a way that a minor will have more than two parents

October 22, 2019

Married female spouses sought to expand their family unit and one entered with a childhood friend a “joint parenting” agreement which was also approved by the Family Court and received the status of a Court verdict. The agreement set the manner in which the minors will be raised and even explicitly stated that the mother is in a spousal relationship and that it is the parties’ intent that the mother’s life partner will be part of the family fabric and decision-making on the minors to be born. Two children were born and recorded as children of the two genetic parents and then the mother and her spouse sought to record the spouse as another mother, in a way that was also in accordance with the way the children see them both. The father opposed.
Unlike the state of California, USA, for example, where the law empowers Courts to recognize more than two parents of a child if recognition of a parental cell of two is detrimental to the child, or in Ontario, Canada, where the law was amended in 2016 to enable recording of the spouse of a biological parent as a parent, in Israel there is no law allowing this and to the contrary, many laws dealing with parental rights (or the need for parental approval) refer to the existence of only two parents. Moreover, in order to adopt a minor the law requires disconnecting the parental linkage between the biological parents and the minor prior to granting the adoption order and a bill filed at the Knesset in early 2018 to allow recognition of more than two parents was not passed. For these and other reasons, until the legislator changes the law, a minor can have no more than two legal parents.