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Woman wants babies recognized as triplets

Feb. 23, 2012 at 12:40 PM

HAIFA, Israel, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- An Israeli woman is trying to have her three newborn children recognized as triplets, despite the fact that two of them were born via surrogate, lawyers said.

The woman gave birth to one child herself, and 29 hours later her surrogate gave birth to twins, Haaretz reported. She is petitioning the National Insurance Institute, or NII, to recognize the infants as triplets so they can receive greater public benefits.

A mother of triplets receives close to $300,000 in NII benefits, as well as three extra weeks of maternity leave.

The petition, submitted to Regional Labor Court in Haifa, cited last year's protests about the high cost of raising children. The NII has objected to the petition, saying in order to qualify as triplets, all three children had to have been born in the same birth. Zohar Barzilay, the woman's attorney, says it's not that simple.

"This is a very clear case," he told Haaretz. "It's triplets who will go to the same nursery school, eat the same baby food and are no different than any other triplets."

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