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International Family Law

The leading authority on international family law

21 NOV 2012

Israel - International Surrogacy in Israel

Rhona Schuz


Israel was one of the first countries in the world to regulate surrogacy by legislation.[1] The Surrogate Motherhood Agreements (Approval of Agreement and Status of Newborn Law) 1996 (hereinafter ‘the Surrogacy Law') legalised gestational surrogacy agreements which fulfilled the conditions set out in the Law and received approval from a Statutory Committee set-up under the Law.[2] In addition, the Law provided for the making of parentage orders which would give the intended parents full legal parental status in relation to the child.

Despite the availability of surrogacy in Israel, in recent years there has been a considerable increase in the number of Israelis making use of foreign surrogacy services. There are two main reasons for this phenomenon.

Firstly, under the Surrogacy Law, the intended parents must be a man and wife. Thus, single women[3] and homosexual couples are not able to make use of the Israeli surrogacy scheme.[4] Accordingly, for male couples, foreign surrogacy has become quite a popular method of having a baby.


[1]              For the background to this legislation, see R.Schuz, ‘The Right to Parenthood: Surrogacy and Frozen Embryos' A Bainham (ed) The International Survey of Family Law 1996, 237.

[2]              For detailed analysis of this Law, see R. Schuz ‘Surrogacy in Israel: An Analysis of the Law in Practice' in R. Cook and S-D. Sclater (eds) ‘Surrogate Motherhood: International Perspectives' (Hart, 2003).

[3]              A challenge to the constitutionality of this provision brought by a single woman was rejected by the High Court of Justice in HCJ 2458/01 New Family v The Approvals Committee. See R. Schuz. ‘Surrogacy And PAS In The Israeli Supreme Court and The Reports of The Committee on Children's Rights' in A. Bainham (ed) The International Survey of Family Law (Jordan, 2004).

[4]              Although the Health Ministry has in the past allowed lesbian couples to implant the fertilized egg of one of them into the womb of the other. Recently, the Ramat Gan Family Court held in Fam 63020/07 Ts v, State Attorney's Office that both women could be registered as mothers of the child, even though there was no provision for this in the legislation.

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