Gay Israeli Fathers: Reframing Societal Views on Surrogacy

Maya Tsfati, Adital Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study aims to explore gay Israeli fathers’ responses and resistance to societal criticism on their decision to become parents through transnational surrogacy. The authors interviewed 39 Israeli gay men who became parents via transnational gestational surrogacy using in-depth, semistructured interviews. Analysis of the interviews suggest that the gay fathers responded to societal perceptions on their choice of surrogacy, which they interpreted as heterosexist and hostile, by relating them to Israeli dominant ideologies and constructing a counter discourse that frames surrogacy as an intimate process fostering gender and parental change. Yet, while the participants portray surrogacy as a catalyst for social change, their accounts are embedded within an Israeli context defined by pronatalist and neoliberal ideologies, showing how accounts of change are intertwined within hegemonic ideologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-183
Number of pages17
JournalMen and Masculinities
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted as part of graduate studies at the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, School of Social Work, University of Haifa. The authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study is a part of a PhD Research project. No funds were given for the PhD Project.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.


  • Israeli society
  • discourse
  • gay fatherhood
  • resistance
  • surrogacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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