Israel to expand same-sex adoption rights

JERUSALEM Sun Feb 10, 2008 6:24pm GMT

Participants wave flags and balloons during a Gay Parade in Jerusalem June 21, 2007. Israel's attorney general said on Sunday that same sex-couples will be allowed to adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Participants wave flags and balloons during a Gay Parade in Jerusalem June 21, 2007. Israel's attorney general said on Sunday that same sex-couples will be allowed to adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner.

Credit: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's attorney general said on Sunday that same sex-couples will be allowed to adopt children that are not biologically linked to either partner.

Meni Mazuz decided that gay adults will be allowed to adopt the biological or adopted child of their partner and, in some cases, even adopt children not connected to them.

Courts in the Jewish state in the past have only allowed gay adults to adopt the child of their partner, the justice ministry said.

"It was decided there is no legal hindrance from approving same-sex couples, or one of the partners, to adopt an unrelated child who is not the child of either partner," the justice ministry said in a statement.

The statement said the decision, made after a debate to determine the status of same-sex couples, deals only with legal considerations and individual cases will be decided by Israel's child welfare services.

(Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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