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Israel Gov't told "accept same-sex adoption"

Mon 10 Dec 2007 In: International News View at Wayback

Israel's Supreme Court ruled on Sunday that the government must recognize foreign adoptions by same-sex parents and treat both parents as equal. The decision led to the leader of the National Religious Party to call for a law specifically banning same-sex families. Zevulun Orlev said "There is no choice but to propose a legislation amendment that will clearly determine that a family is built by a man and a woman. "The court's ruling goes against the Jewish faith and undermines the foundation of the State of Israel as a Jewish nation." The high court ruling at the weekend followed the appeal of a 2000 ruling by a three-justice panel of the court that found both Nicole and Ruthie Brenner-Kadish must be registered as the parents of a child they adopted in California. The Brenner-Kadishs were both listed as parents in California when they adopted the baby but when the couple returned to Israel the government refused to put the names of both women on the child's papers. Sunday, nine of the country's eleven justices heard arguments in the appeal. Two of Israel's most conservative justices excused themselves from the case. Eliyakim Rubinstein recused himself because he was attorney general when the original case was filed. Edmond Levy asked to be removed because of an already heavy case load. Attorneys for the Interior Ministry argued that if the government registered both women as parents it would be tantamount to recognizing same-sex relationships. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, which represents the couple, argued that the case should be dismissed because of a second ruling - in 2005 - involving another lesbian couple. In that case the Supreme Court ruled that the partner of a woman who had a child through in vitro fertilization must also be officially recognized. The ACRI argued that the government's appeal in the Berner-Kadish case is moot. "The right to family is a basic right, for all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation," said Attorney Dan Yakir, ACRI's Chief Legal Counsel, who represented the couple and their child at Sunday's hearing. The ruling orders the Interior Ministry amend its records to show both women as parents. The government said it would consider an appeal. If the ruling is not contested or upheld on appeal it would affect any same-sex couple in Israel who adopts children abroad in areas where same-sex parenting is legal.    

Credit: News Staff

First published: Monday, 10th December 2007 - 10:37am

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