JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel’s Cabinet approved a bill that would allow same-sex couples to use surrogate mothers in Israel.
The legislation was opposed by government ministers who are members of the Jewish Home Party.
The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill in March; bringing the bill to the Cabinet was then stalled after Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel submitted an appeal against the legislation.
The legislation will now go before the full Knesset, where it must pass three readings.
Under the current law, only heterosexual couples can arrange to have a surrogate mother in Israel.Other couples and singles go abroad to have children through surrogacy, many to India and Thailand.
The bill places limits on surrogate mothers, including allowing no more than three surrogate pregnancies per woman and raising the maximum age for a surrogate mother to 38. The prospective parents must be 54 or younger, and the bill allows for services for up to two children.
Israel has a shortage of women willing to be surrogate mothers.
Earlier this year, Israeli couples, many of them same sex, had difficulty in bringing babies born to surrogate mothers in Thailand back to Israel.