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Not In Our Country: Same Sex Surrogacy Issues in Israel

a blog by Julie Monacelli, October 1, 2013

In Israel, a lesbian couple that has been together for 10 years wants to have a child through reciprocal in vitro fertilization (IVF). That means Liat Moshe wants to have her eggs retrieved, fertilized and then transferred to her partner, Dana Glisko, who will carry the child. Seems easy, right? It is, if you are not Israeli, lesbian and in the Israeli Defense Forces.

In Israel, they do not consider this reciprocal IVF, it is considered surrogacy because another woman is carrying Moshe’s embryo. Legally, only heterosexual couples are allowed to undergo “surrogacy” procedures. The Israeli Health Ministry has agreed to allow Moshe to have her eggs removed, but then the couple would need to travel to another country to have the embryo transferred into her partner, Glisko. Adding insult to this, as an officer in the IDF, Moshe is prohibited from having surgery in foreign countries. Even if it was allowed, if they wanted to have the procedure done elsewhere, the Health Ministry will not pay for procedures that occur while they are overseas. Which means the option of having a fresh transfer, with a much higher success rate, would be completely self-pay. Moshe fights for her country, wears the Israeli uniform and has two choices: she can freeze an embryo, shipping it to a country other than the one she has sworn to protect or she can travel out of the country, having an illegal procedure and paying for it herself. Either way, Israel will not be part of creating their family as they want it.

I wish she could thwart the system just so the surrogacy is covered and legal. It seems the only way this is possible is for Moshe to marry a man so Glisko can carry their child as the surrogate. Just when I thought the United States hadn’t kept up legally with artificial reproduction I read an article about a couple in another country and realize we don’t have it so bad. We have a lot of hurdles in the Unites States, but as long as you have insurance or the cash you can find a doctor that will pretty much do whatever you are trying to do, whether you are same sex, opposite sex or going it alone.


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