Israel: Queer Female Couples Allowed To Open Joint File In Sperm Banks

Lesbian couples can now open a joint file at a sperm bank.

Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz has just granted queer female couples the right to open a joint file when using a sperm bank to conceive a child. This decision is a historic step forward for LGBTQ mothers!

Finally, queer female couples who want to have a baby through sperm donation can now do so in the same way as heterosexual couples.

Better recognition for queer moms

Becoming the parent of an unborn child using a sperm donor is easy for a man. All he has to do is sign his name on a form. The child will bear his name and, if his parents get divorced, then there’s no problem since the father agrees beforehand to pay alimony.

However, this form was not available to same-sex couples. But the new policy will change that. From now on, the form will be available in two versions: one for men and another specifically tailored towards women. Two versions because of two pronouns.

“A mother and a mother are a family. Just like any other family, and there is no reason for them not to receive equal treatment,” Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said.

“Until now, lesbian couples who were helped by the sperm bank have not been recognized as couples. The female partner of the woman who received [the sperm donation] didn’t gain official status in the process, not as her partner and not as an expectant mother.

“From today, female partners of women are now recognized by the system. I have instructed the Health Ministry to issue an order to all sperm banks to act in an egalitarian fashion and to recognize the female partners of women in the sperm donation processes as an expectant parent, just as they would a male partner.”

This minor act represents a significant step forward to recognizing the second mom. She will still need to get a judge’s order for her parental right to be recognized, but now she can go to court, show her involvement in the child’s life from day one and request parental status.

“One of the conditions for granting a parental order is proof of the couple’s joint intention to be parents,” the instructions state. “This condition can be proven, among other ways, by a declaration form from the couple saying that they have opened a joint file at the sperm bank.”

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Thursday, 30 June 2022