Israel’s Supreme Court to rule on LGBT adoption, despite gov’t opposition

“The Supreme Court is overstepping its authority. The role of the court is to interpret the law, but the court is acting as a legislative [body],” said Michael Foa of the conservative NGO Choosing Family.

By World Israel News Staff

The Israeli Supreme Court convened on Thursday to hear a petition that would grant adoption rights to gays and lesbians, supported by Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara.

Two gay couples and the Reform Judaism movement in Israel petitioned the Court to issue a ruling that would expressly permit LGBT people to adopt children, in contravention to an Israeli law that explicitly bans such a move.

Israeli law permits only married heterosexual couples to adopt children, with a few exceptions. For example, if a child is a close biological relative of one of the prospective parents, the partner may also be granted adoption rights.

However, despite the clear policy, Barahav-Miara is arguing that the law could be interpreted to mean that long-term gay and lesbian couples are entitled to adopt children, including those who are biologically unrelated to them.

Last week, Welfare Minister Ya’akov Margi (Shas) affirmed the government’s position on the matter in response to the Supreme Court petition, stating that allowing same-sex couples to adopt is against the children’s best interests.

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Mergi said that allowing LGBT adoption “would add additional complexities to [the children’s] lives” and the Welfare Ministry should “preserve as much as possible the lifestyle and family framework in which they were born.”

The vice-president of the Supreme Court, Judge Uzi Fogelman, acknowledged that the matter would be better resolved legislatively but maintained the Court has the authority to rule on it anyway.

“The Supreme Court is overstepping its authority. The role of the court is to interpret the law, but the court is acting as a legislative [body],” said Michael Foa of the conservative NGO Choosing Family.

“The question of what is called a family, what is good for the child and what is the public significance of this whole move is an issue of [fundamental] values that the High Court has no right to rule on,” he continued.

Foa added that “we must work tirelessly to prevent the Supreme Court from becoming the legislator.”