On Tuesday, 15 Israeli babies, all born to surrogate mothers were evacuated by Israel from quake-hit Nepal where the death toll has surpassed the 5,000 mark.
As reported by Time, not a single surrogate mother was allowed to travel with any of the evacuated victims or children.
The infants’ arrival completed the evacuation of 26 surrogate Israeli babies from Nepal with widely published photos of the newborns being cradled by Israeli medics. But this has brought Nepal-Israel surrogacy link into spotlight.
Only heterosexual couples can easily employ surrogate mothers in Israel while Gay couples and single parents tend to look abroad.
India was earlier the preferred choice but due to change in law in 2013, the Indian women traveled to Nepal to give birth and the Israeli surrogacy agencies then switched their operations from India to Nepal.
After the report of selected evacuation came, writer Alon-Lee Green told an Israel newspaper:
“How can it be that none of the human interest stories or compassion-filled posts mentioned these women, who came from a difficult socioeconomic background … to rent their wombs … who now, like the babies they’ve just had, are also stuck in the disaster zone?”
But officials on Tuesday maintained that they were continuing to explore options for evacuating the pregnant women.
The Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said he would allow the most heavily pregnant to be flown to Israel to give birth and outgoing Interior Minister Gilad Erdan promised to remove immigration hurdles for the rest.