The Atlantic quotes Circle Surrogacy’s President John Weltman in “Forget Marriage Equality; Israeli Gays Want Surrogacy Rights.” The article reports on the surrogacy laws in Israel preventing gay residents from becoming parents through surrogacy. Activists in Tel Aviv, as well as the rest of the nation, seek to make surrogacy their top political priority. In a country where having children is considered one of the most important obligations of the Jewish religion, LGBT residents seek legality and acceptance in parenting more so than in the battle of marriage equality.
Currently, surrogates in Israel must be single, widowed or divorced. Further, only infertile heterosexual couples are allowed to pursue surrogacy. Adoption is out for gay parents, as well. Such restrictions have left many individuals to seek programs overseas. Weltman reveals that a notable percentage of Circle’s clients are from Israel. He has helped more than 50 gay couples from the nation become parents through the agency’s surrogacy process. While such international agencies are available to service and support intended families that live in Israel, there is optimism for the nation’s gay community. Many have hopes that the issue soon reaches the Supreme Court of Israel.
The rise of surrogate pregnancies in recent years may have its roots in growing societal acceptance and an evolving legal framework, according to John Weltman, in a recent Reuters article on surrogacy. "You have a legal setting that is much more secure," Circle Surrogacy's president and founder told the news agency. "On top of that, numbers of people have come out about their surrogacies, people like Kelsey Grammer, like Elton John, like Sarah Jessica Parker."
Circle Surrogacy, "one of the longest-running U.S. agencies matching so-called intended parents to suitable surrogates" has grown tremendously in recent years, the article noted. In the midst of the growth, Circle has maintained its rigorous screening of surrogates and parents, to ensure that both are prepared for the process ahead.
Intended mothers who have children through surrogacy can now be recognized as legal mothers, according to a landmark Ireland surrogacy ruling last week. In an article on the decision, The Irish Times cited Circle Surrogacy as an example of a surrogacy agency which has been helping Irish couples become parents through surrogacy for years.
While Ireland allows altruistic surrogacy, a growing number of Irish intended parents have been turning to the United States to pursue surrogacy since most U.S. states allow compensated surrogacy. The decision makes it easier for mothers through surrogacy to secure their legal rights.
The State has not commented on whether it will appeal the decision, which could bring the case before the Supreme Court.
[Via Irish Times]
During the Stupid Cancer radio show on February 11, John and Circle Parent Jen Rachman discussed surrogacy and fertility rights for cancer survivors.
Jen is a parent through Circle Surrogacy and spoke about her experience becoming a mother through surrogacy after she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at a young age. John talked about the need for more education about surrogacy and assisted reproductiev technology options among cancer patients and medical providers.
You can listen to the full broadcast here.
The number of births through surrogacy nearly doubled between 2004 and 2008 and will continue to rise, according to a report cited in Crain's ChicagoBusiness.com. A significant part of the demand for surrogacy, according to the article. comes from male same-sex couples, who hope to have biological children. As society has become more accepting of gay couples with children, the demand has grown.
Same-sex couples often turn to agencies like Circle Surrogacy, which are gay-owned and have a history of and familiarity with working with the LGBT community, for help navigating the patchwork of laws and processes across the United States.
Read the full article here.