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September 16, 2013 9:17 am

Israel Recognizes Two Biological Fathers of Child for First Time

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Tel Aviv's LGBT pride parade on June 7, 2013. Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv.

JNS.org In a precedent-setting move, Israel’s Interior Ministry has recognized two men as the biological father of a baby boy.

The baby is the son of Yuval Topper-Erez, a transgender male who gave birth in December 2011. The Interior Ministry initially refused to recognize the child’s father, Matan, as the biological father. But the couple fought for more than a year, and after gaining support from Interior Minister Gideon Saar and Knesset Internal Affairs Committee Chairwoman Member of Knesset Miri Regev, it received recognition.

“While the solution was not ideal, we are still very happy that the child has been registered on both fathers’ IDs and we thank all those who got involved and helped make this happen,” the father, Matan, told Israel Hayom.

Matan added, “I hope that as a result of our case, every same-sex couple will be registered as the parents in their family, it was worth the fight.”

While Israel does not allow same-sex marriages to be performed, due to the lack of a civil marriage option, the state does recognize same-sex unions from abroad. Same-sex couples can also register for cohabitation status, and receive many of the same benefits as heterosexual couples. Israel is the only Middle Eastern country that recognizes same-sex marriages.

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