Daddy Squared Around The World: Israel
Daddy Squared: The Gay Dads Podcast looks at gay rights and fatherhood options in Israel. We talked with Israeli pop star and gay dad Ivri Lider to get a taste of what it’s like being a gay dad in Israel, and researched options for Israeli gay men who want to become dads.
Parenting is engraved in Israeli culture. In this episode of Daddy Squared we give a taste of gay fatherhood in Israel as well as explore options for gay men to become dads.
“In Israel these days it’s really very common for gay men to have kids,” singer Ivri Lider tells Daddy Squared, “it’s pretty amazing what happens in Tel Aviv. In the last 10 years it became the obvious thing, like the normal obvious thing for gay couples to have kids. In Israel, having kids is something that is very much intrenched in society and it’s, like, important. Having kids is like the most important thing you can do with your life.”
Despite the normality of gays with kids in Israel, and the popularity of surrogacy among gay Israelis, surrogacy is still illegal in the country, and gay men are forced to have kids abroad. “It is something that we really are fighting for these days,” Lider says, “because right now it’s a discriminating law. If you’re a straight couple you can do surrogacy in Israel and also if you’re a woman you can do surrogacy in Israel, but if you are a man you can’t. It’s kinda obvious that it’s more of an anti-gay law because there’s not a lot of straight men who go through surrogacy alone. We definitely see it as something discriminating against gay men, but the Israeli Supreme Court ruled last year that it should be changed. So it’s this moment in time when we’re waiting to see what’s gonna happen with that.”
Lider, had his son, Alby, through surrogacy in the U.S. in 2019. “It’s such an amazing thing,” he says about parenthood, “suddenly to having a little kid and watching the world through his eyes, learning about the world with him and being able to teach him –it’s just incredible.”
“It took time for me to decide that I’m doing it and how I’m doing it. At the beginning I was in a long relationship and I was thinking I would be doing it in a relationship, and then we broke up–partially because of that, because he wasn’t ready, and then I was a long for a while, thinking I would do joint parenting, and I met with a few girls and then after a while I was feeling that this is not really for me, I was feeling that I’ll never feel ready to do it with a woman who’s not my wife, and I felt in a kind of deep psychological way for me to not commit enough. So I thought, ‘ok, you’re going to commit,’ and I was still single when I started the process.”
“And the most amazing thing is that I met Yonatan, my boyfriend, right after I started. So I started the process as a single man but eventually when Alby was born we were already in a relationship. Yonatan will tell you that on the first date we were sitting at my house and talking and having wine, and I was like, ‘yeah, I’m having a kid.'”
Surrogacy for Gay Men in Israel
Surrogacy is illegal for single men and gay couples in Israel, therefore, gay men travel abroad, mostly to the U.S. and Canada, for their journey.
Joint Parenthood (Co-Parenting) for Gay Men in Israel
“It’s very common to do it with someone you know for many years,” Ivri Lider says. “Like, a lot of my friends will tell you, ‘oh we were friends in high school,’ or we know this woman for 20 years and now we’re going to have a kid together.’ In a very Israeli fashion it’s very family-like, a close relationship.”
Our Guest: Ivri Lider
Ivri Lider is an Israeli musician, pop star, icon. He took the Israeli music world by storm and has sold over a million copies of his albums, which includes 12 original albums, live albums and DVDs. His performances are highly-praised by critics and audiences alike, and are always quick to sell out. Lider has fans spanning all generations – teenagers, soldiers, students, young couples, and even the young at heart who are sixty and over. His songs have become the soundtrack of Israeli living. Ivri is known for his versatility and for his passion to collaborate with artists from all different genres. In addition to collaborating with other musicians, he works with artists from the film, video, visual arts and dance world.
Men Having Babies
When men pursue surrogacy to build their families, obviously one of the biggest obstacles is the financial barrier, given that in almost in every variation a very expensive preposition. This is where Men Having Babies sees the fertility equality as crucial for our advocacy work. The reason being, that we are not considered anywhere as ‘infertile,’ therefore, even if there are benefits associated with infertility that would otherwise allow us to get insurance or other funds — those are given only to heterosexual couples or people that they can show that they are ‘medically infertile.’ Men Having Babies is now advocating a new definition of fertility that isn’t a disease, but also a status.
Gay Dads in Israel: Related Articles and News
- Israeli Court OKs Surrogacy for Same-sex Couples (Voice of America, July 11, 2021)
- Two Men and Three Adopted Kids: How Parenthood Changed Israeli LGBTQ Families (Ha’aretz, July 11, 2011)
- Nvidia To Finance Surrogacy And Adoption Proceedings For Israeli Employees (No Camels, June 2021)
- How Bituach Leumi avoids Surrogacy Law (in Hebrew) (June 2021)
- High Court pushes deadline to fix surrogacy law after elections (March 2021)
- Israel’s LGBTQ Community Demands: Cancel the Discrimination in Surrogacy Law (Hebrew) (January 2021)
- Supreme Court Rules: Adoption Law Discriminates Against the LGBTQ Community and Will Be Changed (2017)
Gay Icons from Israel
an Israeli screenwriter, producer, journalist, activist and Israeli TV personality. Read more
An Israeli pop singer. She has released eight albums and three additional compilation albums. She was the winner of the Eurovision Song Contest 1998 in Birmingham with the song “Diva”. Read more