Israel’s Attorney General, Menachem Mazuz, has decreed that same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt kids. This is a big step for a fairly conservative country. Essentially, there was a sticky bit of language centered around the term “ben zug.” Ben zug basically means partner in the relationship sense. It is not gender-specific nor is it specific to any sexual orientation, according to AG Mazuz’s interpretation. This is sort of one of those watershed moments that sort of goes unnoticed though. Of the 270 (not a typo, two hundred and seventy) kids adopted in Israel last year, 170 were adopted internally.
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It makes sense that there are not a lot of adoptions in Israel. The country seems to be pretty family-oriented. And the population is only about 7 million or a little smaller than the number of people living in New York City. Of course, not everyone was thrilled with the decision. Some conservatives are actually pretty miffed. We wonder what happens to unclaimed orphans in Israel. Do they become property of the army? Are they put into the Rabbinate? Do they just wait around for a nice gay couple to adopt them? This AG is quite a mensch.