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In Historic First, Taiwan Court Allows Same-Sex Partner to Adopt Child

Kaohsiung Pride Parade
Via Shutterstock

While the ruling has offered LGBTQ+ activists hope, advocates say they will still push for equality since the court decision only applies to the couple. 

Taiwan LGBTQ+ activists have called a court decision to allow a gay man to adopt his husband's non-biological child a sign of hope, while also calling on the country's government to allow all same-sex couples adoption equality.

In the ruling, a family court in the city of Kaohsiung allowed a man to become the legal guardian of his husband's daughter. The daughter was adopted by the husband before the two were married, according to Agence France-Presse.

The country is considered progressive in the region when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights. In 2019, it became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage.

Same-sex couples, however, still face restrictions. For instance, they can only adopt a spouse's biological child and can only wed foreign citizens that are from countries where marriage equality exists.

This ruling only applies to this one couple.

"I am happy that my spouse is also legally recognized as the father of our child... but I can't feel all that happy without amending the law," Wang Chen-wei, one of the claimants in the case, told AFP. "It's really absurd that same-sex people can adopt a child when they are single but they can't after they get married."

Wang added that he and his partner Chen Jun-ru are wanting to adopt a second child. He said that will force them to go through the same court process again.

After the ruling was made public on Tuesday, activists groups said they will now pursue full equality in the adoption laws.

"We hope the rulings serve as a reminder to government officials and lawmakers that the current unfair legal conditions need to be changed," said Jennifer Lu, executive director for the LGBTQ+ rights group the Taiwan Equality Campaign.

Her organization has gotten more than 500 requests from same-sex families wanting to adopt non-biological children, Lu told AFP.

Lu said that while the ruling is "a ray of hope," other similar cases have been rejected by the court, making the Taiwanese courts inconsistent on the subject.

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