First Israeli gay man gets ’maternity’ leave
By Tomer Zarchin - Haaretz.com
The National Insurance Institute authorized Israel’s first-ever "maternity" leave for a male couple on Thursday. Yonatan Gher, director of Jerusalem’s nonprofit Open House Pride and Tolerance organization, has received institute approval of a 64-day leave from work on the occasion of the birth of his biological son, born of a surrogate mother in India. His partner of seven years commenced formal adoption procedures, so that the child will be formally recognized as his as well.
Despite confirmation of the leave, Gher has not received an answer to his request for reimbursement of NIS 10,000 in hospitalization costs (Gher and his partner also stayed in the hospital prior to the delivery) from the NII.
The process began two years ago, when the couple realized formal adoption by a single man or two gay men was not an option here. They did not want to agree to joint parenthood with an Israeli woman, because they said it would expose the child to a situation similar to divorce.