Israel: Lesbian Mothers Sue for Parental Recognition

Nicole Brenner-Kadish and Ruti Brenner-Kadish have acted as mothers to their 3/12-year-old son since birth, and are suing the Israeli government for refusing to recognize them both as mothers.

The two mothers are dual U.S.-Israeli citizens and were living in California at the time of their son Matan’s birth. When they tried to register Matan with the Israeli consulate, they were told “one child cannot have two mothers” and refused to grant recognition to Nicole, since she was not a “birth” mother.

Nicole argued her case before Israel Television, explaining that without legal recognition of her role as Matan’s parent, she cannot make emergency medical decisions for him and could be denied guardianship if her partner died or became unable to care for him. “We want to be considered a family,” explained Ruti.

In a preliminary hearing held Sunday, judges gave the state 3 months to prepare a defense of its position. In a radio interview, Nicole described the hearing, saying, “I was on the verge of tears, to think that these three (judges) are deciding, in effect, if I’m my son’s mother.”


AP - April 26, 1999

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