Gay couples can only adopt as individual parents, and are very rarely successful in being granted children.
The Israel Movement for Progressive Judaism and the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers petitioned the Supreme Court to allow common-law couples and same-sex couples to adopt, while the current law states that 'adoption is possible only by a man and his wife'. This "takes into account the reality of Israeli society and the difficulty it may entail with regard to the child being adopted".
The state also said that it should be the Knesset, and not the courts, that decides on the issue.
The government will, however, allow couples who married under common law to adopt for the first time.
"The Israeli government has announced a war against the LGBT families", stated Chairman of the Association of Israeli Gay Fathers Udi Ladergor. "It is incredible to me that the State of Israel is willing to invest enormous resources in legal proceedings whose sole aim is harassment and abuse of LGBT families, rather than diverting these resources to the benefit of society".
Michal Rozin, a member of the Knesset's LGBT caucus, said the Israeli government "is abandoning the gay community and this highlights the government's cynical use of the community: In English, they boast about [being LGBT-friendly], but in Hebrew, they deny basic rights".
Same-sex couples can be approved for adoption, but they can only adopt children for whom a heterosexual couple cannot be found.