In a huge win for gay/lesbian parents, Israel’s High Court of Justice has ruled that the government cannot refuse to list both same-sex parents on a child’s birth certificate.
The decision, issued on December 12, comes as the result of a lawsuit filed by a gay couple who had adopted a son.
According to The Times of Israel, when the two men tried to obtain a birth certificate with both of their names listed as the parents, officials at the Interior Ministry refused.
The court case was filed in conjunction with The Aguda, Israel’s LGBT Task Force, which advocates for gay rights.
The unanimous ruling, by a panel of three judges, noted the decision wasn’t just about the parents’ rights but the child’s right to be recognized as the couple’s son.
“The principle of ‘the good of the child’ argues for the recording of his entire family unit,” wrote Judge Neal Hendel, “and doesn’t permit us to limit ourselves to only one of his parents in the birth certificate."
"The contrast with the treatment of a child adopted by a heterosexual couple, who has the right to have both adopted parents written in a birth certificate, is a contrast that applies both to the child and to the parents," Hendel added. “It is unreasonable for the couple to be [legally] recognized as parents but for the certificate not to give expression to that fact.”
The high court decision orders the Interior Ministry to issue a birth certificate with both fathers’ names.
The Times of Israel notes that the ruling could affect two more LGBT parenting cases soon to arrive in the High Court of Justice.
One regards a lesbian couple suing to have both of their names on their child’s birth certificate even though only one woman has a biological link to the child, and the other concerns a transgender man who wishes to have his standing on his child’s birth certificate changed from ‘mother’ to ‘father.’