‘Don’t give birth in Beilinson:’ Israeli hospital to admit gay men in maternity ward

“Why is my husband forbidden from staying in the ward but a pair of homosexual men can even though nothing has happened in their bodies?”

By World Israel News Staff

In a groundbreaking policy shift, Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva will admit gay couples and single men whose infants are born via surrogate into its maternity ward, Israel Hayom reported on Monday.

Under the new policy, one of the partners in a gay couple or the single father will be admitted into the maternity ward following the birth of their baby via surrogacy. The other partner, in the case of couples, will assume the role of the escort. The surrogate mother, on the other hand, will be admitted into the women’s gynecological ward.

“We’ve been waiting for a long time for a process that will allow couples to bring children into the world through surrogacy,” Dr. Rony Chen, head of Beilinson’s maternity wards, told Israel Hayom.

“As a member of the LGBT community, I understand the depth of the adaptations we need to make. The hospital is a home for all new families, for all the gay couples and single fathers. They will receive the treatment and the special support we’ve created for them, which is adapted to the needs of the growing family.”

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Viyulan Karasik, head nurse at the maternity ward, emphasized the goal of strengthening the initial bond between the newborns and their new parents.

“The natural connection created during pregnancy between the parents and the embryo takes place differently during surrogacy. In order to ease the process of connection between the fathers and the baby, we need to think creatively. We are guiding and accompanying the parents in their new families,” Karasik said.

The hospital encourages prospective homosexual couples to familiarize themselves with its services and facilities. A hospitalization period of at least 48 hours after the birth is common in most Israeli hospitals, and includes close guidance on initial care for the baby.

“After the Surrogacy Law was approved in Israel for gay couples and single parents, it was clear to me that we needed to lead the issue,” said Professor Asnat Walfisch, head of Beilinson’s Helen Schneider Hospital for Women. “I am proud to be a partner in the innovative model which we have built here.”

Eliraz Fine, a digital creator and spokesperson for “Fathers for Justice,” raised concerns about the policy. “Why is my husband, who is also an emotional new father, not allowed to come in and stay at my side during the hospitalization after the birth, other than during visiting hours, and certainly not overnight – but a pair of homosexual men can stay on the other side of my curtain even though nothing has happened in their bodies?!”

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Fine’s objections also touched on issues of privacy, modesty and religious observance, particularly for religiously observant Jewish and Arab women. Her post, tagged “don’t give birth in Beilinson,” argued that if the hospital feels the need to provide these services to homosexual men, it should open a dedicated ward for them.