Israel Grants Adoption Rights To Gays

On Sunday Israel’s attorney general granted to full adoption rights to that country’s gay couples. Before his ruling, gay couples could only adopt if one partner was the biological parent of the child.

“I welcome the decision,” said Welfare Minister Isaac Herzog. “There is no reason why same-sex couples who meet the criteria for adoption should not be able to join the process of adoption and of parenthood. We must adapt to the spirit of the times and the changes that are afoot.”

Israel has moved quickly on gay civil rights since the Knesset decriminalized homosexuality in 1988. There have been no restrictions on gays serving in the military since 1993. In 2000, the age of consent for gays was lowered to 16, to match the legal age for consensual sex for heterosexuals.

Gay couples are given most federal rights in Israel, although gay marriages (which are only religious marriages in Israel) are not permitted. Gay marriages performed abroad, however, are recognized as of 2006. Private companies as well as the public sector are required to give gay employees the same benefits as straight employees.

According to Wikipedia, adoptions by same-sex couples are explicitly banned in these U.S. states: Florida, Michigan, Mississippi, and Utah. Eight other states have murky laws in place that make it unclear whether such adoptions are legal. In the rest of the country, adoptions are either explicitly allowed or there are no laws that ban the practice. Only Florida bans LGBT individuals from adopting.