Married same-sex couple become first in Taiwan to legally adopt a child

Taiwan legalised same sex marriage in 2019 but does not allow same-sex couples to adopt a child not related to either parent

Sravasti Dasgupta
Friday 14 January 2022 12:12
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<p>Taiwanese couple Chen Jun-ru (L) and Wang Chen-wei display signs seeking fair laws for adoption on 13 January, 2022 </p>

Taiwanese couple Chen Jun-ru (L) and Wang Chen-wei display signs seeking fair laws for adoption on 13 January, 2022

A married gay couple in Taiwan has become the country’s first to adopt a child unrelated to them.

While Taiwan legalised same sex marriage in 2019, the legislation had limited adoption rights. It allowed a person to adopt a spouse’s child, but did not clarify about the situation if neither parent is biologically related to the child.

So in practice, heterosexual couples and single parents could adopt. But in order for a same-sex married couple to adopt, they would have to divorce their partner, apply for adoption as a single parent and then remarry as both partners in a same-sex marriage are not allowed to adopt.

Such a limitation is not there in other marriage laws in the country.

On Thursday, Wang Chen-wei and Chen Chun-ju formally signed papers for the adoption of their daughter Joujou at the Taipei household registration office.

The couple said that despite a long legal battle, they were happy that they have been able to become parents like other couples, reported The Guardian.

“I have everything now. I am married and just like heterosexual couples, we can have our own children,” Mr Wang said. “But we were born to have and enjoy all of this, we are not a charity case. We shouldn’t have had to fight for it.”

Last month, in a historic decision, a family court had ruled in favour of the couple and allowed Mr Chen to become an adoptive parent to Joujou.

The court said in its ruling on 25 December that a child should not be discriminated against because of their parents’ status, and that the law did not expressly prohibit the adoption of adopted children.

“I am happy that my spouse is also legally recognised as the father of our child... but I can’t feel all that happy without amending the law,” Mr Wang had told AFP at that time.

The couple have been together for 16 years and delayed their marriage in order to apply for their daughter’s adoption.

She was first adopted by Mr Wang before their marriage and then the couple moved court to have his partner too registered as her parent.

“I hope that our first story of victory as a gay couple will serve as a foundation for the full practice of fair, equal treatment for other LGBT families,” said Mr Chen.

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