The parliament of Taiwan passed an amendment on Tuesday allowing same-sex couples to jointly adopt children. The move is hailed by activists as "another big step forward" towards marriage equality. Taiwan was the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage in 2019.
However, even after same-sex marriages were recognised, couples faced restrictions with regard to jointly adopting children. While Taiwan allowed individuals to adopt children regardless of their sexual orientation, same-sex married couples could not jointly adopt children unless the child was the biological offspring of one partner.
This restriction was imposed on the eve of Taiwan’s fourth anniversary celebrating marriage equality laws as the parliament removed a bar allowing same-sex couples to adopt children jointly. Lawmaker Fan Yun hailed the cross-party support for the bill.
Taiwan Allows Same Sex Adoption
Fan, draped in a rainbow flag representing the LGBTQIA+ community, said that the amendment ensures the rights of children and also meets their best interests. He added that in the future, couples and parents, regardless of gender and sexual orientation, will have full legal protection.
The amendment comes after a family court in southern Kaohsiung City in 2022 ruled in favour of a married gay man seeking to share parenthood with his spouse’s adoptive child. This verdict was the first of its kind.
Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, an advocacy group, released a statement saying that the parliament has finally passed the bill for adoption without blood relationships by same-sex couples after four years of hard work.
The advocacy group lauded Taiwan for legalising transnational same-sex marriages, a move that was made in January 2023 by former premier Su Tseng-chang, who lifted the restrictions for international same-sex couples. Earlier, foreign nationals were not allowed to get married to their Taiwanese partners if they hailed from countries that banned same-sex marriages.
Taiwan is a country that is home to a thriving LGBTQIA+ community. It records 200,000 people attending a pride march in 2019 in Taipei to celebrate the legalisation of same-sex marriage. The law came after the top court in Taiwan ruled that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional and discriminatory.
Photo credit: Gay & Lesbian Family Law in Texas
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