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Same-sex couple becomes 1st in Taiwan to legally adopt child

Court rules gay man can legally adopt his spouse's daughter

(Facebook, Cat Pa Wei Dad photo)

(Facebook, Cat Pa Wei Dad photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A court recently ruled in favor of allowing a gay couple to adopt a little girl, marking the first time a same-sex couple has legally adopted an unrelated child in Taiwan.

Although same-sex marriage became legal in May 2019, there are still some differences in terms of adoption rights. According to current adoption regulations, any individual can adopt a child who is not biologically related to them, but a married same-sex couple cannot. Instead, a spouse in a same-sex marriage can only adopt the biological child of their partner.

In the case of a man who uses the social media handle Weiwei (圍圍), he had legally adopted a non-related girl nicknamed Rourou (肉肉) when he was still single. However, after a man who goes by the social media name Miaomiao (喵喵) married Weiwei, the former was barred under the current law from adopting his spouse's daughter.

They filed a lawsuit to enable Miaomiao to legally adopt the child. On Tuesday (Jan. 4), Equal Love Taiwan, a coalition of five LGBTQ rights organizations, announced on Facebook that a court had ruled in the couple's favor:

"In view of the fact that the two parties in the establishment of the second relationship are in fact jointly managing their lives together, in order to protect the rights and interests of the biological child of one party of the same-sex relationship, the other party should be permitted to adopt the child as a stepparent."

The group lamented the fact that the ruling only applies to the litigants and does not set a legal precedent for future cases. The organizers of the group called on the government to amend the law to enable all same-sex couples to have the same adoption rights as heterosexual ones.