March 13, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - An Israeli court has ruled that two lesbians who created a child through in-vitro fertilization are both biological mothers of the child, according to reports in the Israeli media.
The couple, which is not named, reportedly conceived the child in-vitro with the egg of one partner and the sperm of a male donor in 2006. The embryo was then implanted in the womb of the other lesbian partner.
When Israel’s Interior Ministry decided that the birth mother was the only mother, and that the other partner would have to adopt to obtain parental rights, the couple sued, claiming sex discrimination on the grounds that a man who contributed his sperm would likely win in a similar paternity suit, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Although the court agreed in this case to grant maternal status to both women, the ruling is not likely to have immediate implications for Israeli society, according to the couple’s attorney, Na’ama Tzoref-Halevy who told the Post that the Health Ministry ceased permitting such surrogacy arrangements between lesbian couples in 2011.
Tzoref-Halevy called the Health Ministry’s policy “discrimination against same-sex partners.” The Health Ministry has responded that the existing law only allows surrogacy for fertility problems, the Post reports.
Rabbi Yehuda Levin, a pro-life and pro-family activist who sometimes acts as a spokesman for the Rabbinical Alliance of America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, told LifeSiteNews that the Health Ministry’s decision was likely to be the result of Orthodox Jews who are fighting against sexual immorality and abortion in Israel.
“To use such technology, even if you want to go on the side that facilitates a husband and wife building a family, that certain procedures may be used, even if you take that position, certainly its a corruption of making a family to have this with two same-gender people, so this would be absolutely prohibited religiously, morally, ethically to do this kind of a thing not in the confines of a traditional marriage,” he said, calling it “immoral craziness.”
Levin blamed the previous policy on government officials who “ape everything, every cultural downtrend.”
“We dare not turn a blind eye to that,” he told LifeSiteNews. “Our love of the Holy Land, and respect for Jewish tradition, which was holiness and morality, should not lead us to blindly accept the craziness that goes on there, whether its several tens of thousands of abortions a year, whether it is homosexual parades in various locations, including the holy city of Jerusalem, whether it’s this kind of craziness with lesbians being implanted with in-vitro fertilized eggs,” said Levin.