Israel-based The Jewish Agency is to offer all its staff, including LGBTI employees, funding to access overseas surrogate services.
The non-profit organisation is the first public institution in the country to offer such loans, the Times of Israel reported.
All of the agency’s employees will have access to the grants. However, the biggest beneficiaries will be gay men, who are prohibited from using surrogates in Israel.
The Jewish Agency’s symbolic show of support
Isaac Herzog, The Jewish Agency’s executive chairman said the organization was ‘making a symbolic statement’, to reflect its inclusive values.
The Times quoted him as saying: ‘The Jewish Agency is one big family, and all its members are equal.’
The grant is worth about $11,000, which is a small portion of the actual cost of surrogacy abroad, The Times of Israel reported.
Some Israelis who qualify for surrogacy in Israel also turn to services abroad to speed the process, The newspaper said. Although it added that Israeli health services don’t pay for surrogacy services outside of the country.
Knesset voted against same-sex couples’ surrogacy rights
Last year Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, caused outrage when it rejected an amendment to a surrogacy bill. This would have given same-sex couples the right to have children by surrogacy within the country.
As reported by Gay Star News, Israeli cities were brought to a standstill last year as thousands protested against the anti-LGBTI surrogacy law.
This was after Israel’s parliament amended the surrogacy bill to include single women, but failed to extend it to same-sex couples or LGBTI individuals.