As the face of the family changes, parenthood is being reinvented. Today in Israel, a person can become a parent naturally or assisted, through natural conception, adoption, artificial insemination, IVF, freezing eggs, or surrogacy. You can raise your child within a marriage, a common-law partnership, as a single parent, or within a shared parenting arrangement.
Shared parenting is defined as two biological parents that are not romantically linked raising a child in two separate households. Shared parenting arrangements can take many forms. The child’s family may consist of two couples, usually a lesbian couple and a male couple, of whom one partner in each couple is the biological parent. Alternatively, the child’s family could consist of a single parent and a couple, one partner of whom is the biological partner, or two singles, both of whom are the child’s biological parent. The child’s time is divided between the two households in a manner determined by and maintained in a shared parenting agreement.
To protect the rights and dignities of both parents and children, if a child is raised by parents who do not live together, New Family recommends making a shared parenthood agreement in order to determine the child’s living arrangements, anticipate and resolve potentially divisive issues, and to choose a mechanism to settle disagreements. To ensure that a child is not brought into the world before a parenting partnership is formed, New Family advises potential parenting partners to begin the process of making an agreement before attempting to achieve pregnancy. Since typically, the child is born from a donation of sperm and artificial insemination, the pregnancy and birth itself should be discussed in the agreement.
In shared parenting, the law recognizes only the two biological parents. Partners of the biological partners have no legal standing and do not have rights or responsibilities over the child. Parent’s partners can not adopt the child, since the child already has two parents.
Shared parenting is different from partners living together raising a child. For example, same-sex couples who raise a child born by a surrogate mother is not ‘shared parenting’, but simply a couple raising their child. No matter how your child came into the world, and how to choose to raise him or her, parenthood awards the parents with the same obligations and rights.
New Family’s Shared Parenthood Agreements
New Family’s attorneys provide expert legal consultation and advice on shared parenting. To make an agreement, schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys at the Family Rights Center in Tel Aviv. Agreements are prepared following a series of consultations, during which the individuals discuss their wishes and learn about all the potential issues affecting their contract. Legal consultation is provided 40 hours a week, Sunday-Thursday, from 9 a.m-5 p.m. Call 972 3 566 0504 to schedule a consultation. Following the consultations, the attorney prepares a draft of the agreement to be discussed in further consultations. Once agreement between the partners is reached, the agreement is signed, and it becomes a legally binding contract. All legal agreements concerning children in Israel need to be approved by a Family Court, so when the child is born, the agreement will need to be ratified by a court of law. The arrangement then holds the authority of a court ruling.
The agreement expresses the parents’ shared responsibility for their child’s physical, emotional and material needs. The agreement contains the parents’ mutual commitment to act for the welfare of the child and defines each one’s rights and responsibilities. It specifies the parent’s agreements on the pregnancy and birth, the child’s living arrangements, financial arrangements, a visitation schedule, education, vacations, holidays, and more. It should also include a mechanism for resolving any disagreements that should arise.