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Israel: Gay Couple Allowed to Adopt

(Mar. 18, 2009) On March 10, 2009, the Tel Aviv family court approved a request by a gay couple, who had married in Toronto in 2004, to adopt a foster son they had raised for over 14 years, even though he has already reached the age of majority. The decision is the first to recognize the right of a same-sex male couple to adopt. In October 2005, Israel's Supreme Court authorized the adoption by a lesbian couple of each other's biological children.

In accordance with a previous, binding decision of the Supreme Court, adoption of adults may be authorized for special reasons. The family court held that a special child-parent relationship, mutual love, and care have existed for many years between the adoptee and the requesters, former Knesset (Parliament) Member Uzi Even and his life partner, Dr. Amit Kama. The adoptee changed his last name to a combination of the two last names of the requestors. The court granted the adoption decree and ordered the Ministry of the Interior to register it. According to the press, the adoption request was lodged after Tel Aviv University refused to give the couple's foster son a tuition discount reserved for children of faculty members. (Adoption File No. 000034/07 Yosef Even Kama v. the Government Legal Adviser, Tel Aviv Family Court, Nevo Legal Database, (last visited Mar. 12, 2009); see also Gay Israeli Couple Allowed to Adopt, JTA, Mar. 11, 2009, available at