Baby born to Thai surrogate mother gets Israeli passport

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel issued a passport for a baby born to a same-sex couple using a surrogate mother.

Twelve other babies will receive passports this week, Haaretz reported, citing the Hebrew-language news website Walla.

The issuance of the passport comes several days after the families of 65 born or soon-to-be-born babies in Thailand to Israeli parents through surrogacy launched a protest to demand citizenship for the children.

With the shortage of surrogate mothers in Israel, gay couples in recent years have been encouraged to go abroad.

In Thailand, the birth mothers must sign documents giving up custody of their children before the children may leave the country.

The parents also must have a document from the surrogate mother giving up all rights to the child. Israel will not provide the child with a passport unless the document is presented and Thailand’s foreign ministry gives its approval.