The Child's Worst Interests

Socio-legal Taboos on Same-Sex Parenting and Their Impact on Children's Well-Being

in Israel Studies Review
Author: Zvi Triger
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This article questions the way in which the 'child's best interests' test is applied by Israeli courts in cases of children of same-sex parents. It argues that the reluctance to recognize same-sex parenting indicates that the child's best interests is a politicized concept, which looks at heterosexual ideology rather than at the child's specific circumstances. This ideology views the opposite-sex parental model as the ideal model and thus is wary of recognizing same-sex parenting because it also entails recognition of same-sex relationships. I identify this prejudice against same-sex relationships and parenting as the product of what I term cultural and legal 'heterophilia'. To the extent that the objections of judges and social workers to same-sex parenting (pursuant to this ideology) are based on fears of actual harm caused to the children because of their parents' sexual orientation, they are the product of homophobia.

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