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Taiwan amends law to allow same-sex couples to adopt

Amendment passed four years after same-sex marriage legalized

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A banner reading "guaranteeing love that transcends blood relations," is held by legislators after the amendment passed its third readi...

A banner reading "guaranteeing love that transcends blood relations," is held by legislators after the amendment passed its third readi... (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Four years after Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage, the legislature has passed the third reading of an amendment to the law allowing same-sex couples to legally adopt children.

When the amendment was raised on Tuesday (May 16), legislators present raised no objections, and the amendment was passed. The change makes the process of adoption for those married to same-sex partners the same as for any other couple under Taiwan’s existing laws, per CNA.

Amendments were first proposed in May 2022, after which the legislature’s legal affairs committee held discussions between the government and legislators. The final text of the amendment was confirmed on May 9.

According to the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights (TAPCPR), after Taiwan’s same-sex marriage law was passed in 2019, the group and other activists began to advocate for same-sex couples to be allowed to adopt. TAPCPR said the outcome was the result of a long-standing initiative by advocacy and human rights groups, gay people, and gay parents.

“This success once again proves that Taiwan's social consensus is to protect the human rights of LGBTI people and promote gender equality. In the future, we will continue to work toward equal rights based on this consensus,” the group said.

New Power Party Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) said what is most important is that parents love and respect their children, and gender and sexuality should have no bearing on whether or not a parent is suitable for adoption or not. “Instead, we should use specific and reliable information, such as the current status of the adopter, trial adoption, social worker visits, and comprehensive evaluations,” Wang said.

In January, Taiwan also lifted restrictions on transnational same-sex marriages, meaning that Taiwan will recognize marriage between partners from any two countries, excluding China. However, nationals of some Southeast Asian, South Asian, West Asian, and African countries are still required to interview with the Taiwan representative office in their home countries before they are provided household registration.