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Amendment allowing Israeli gays, singles to use surrogate mothers advances

JTA

March 3, 2014 | 12:02 pm

The Knesset building, Jerusalem, Israel. Photo by Beny Shlevich.

The Knesset building, Jerusalem, Israel. Photo by Beny Shlevich.

An Israeli government committee approved an amendment that would allow same-sex couples and singles to use surrogate mothers in Israel.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the amendment to the surrogacy law on Sunday by a vote of 7 to 5. 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 amendment, which must pass three Knesset votes, is expected to face objections on moral, religious and legal grounds.

Israel has a shortage of women willing to be surrogate mothers.

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.

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