Taiwanese Same-Sex Couples Push For Expanded Adoption Rights

Gay rights groups in Taiwan are backing three same-sex couples who plan to take legal action in an attempt to change the country’s existing adoption laws.

Currently, Taiwan’s same-sex marriage law allows LGBTQ+ people to adopt their partner’s biological child, but not their partner’s adopted child; a rule that does not apply to heterosexual couples, according to Focus Taiwan.

That means if a single person adopts a child and then marries a same-sex partner, their partner is forbidden from adopting their child. If the adoptive parent were to die, the child could then be taken away to face relocation or another adoption, essentially forcing them to lose both parents at once.

At a press conference last Thursday, the couples spoke about their family stories, and why they chose to stand up for their rights.

One woman, Yi-ling, said she became concerned about her lack of parental rights when her wife, the only legal adoptive parent of their son, fell ill earlier this year. Although the two are legally considered strangers, Yi-ling said the love she has for their son "is beyond words,” and she called on the law to be changed to ensure the rights of LGBTQ+ families like hers, Focus Taiwan reports.

Jennifer Lu, executive director of the Taiwan Equality Campaign (TEC) told reporters that the group is hoping to change this "unreasonable" treatment of same-sex couples by taking their cases to court, and eventually to the country’s Constitutional Court.

The three couples are planning to file their separate lawsuits at the district court level. Once the court cases have ended and all legal proceedings have been exhausted, the country’s law says an individual who considers their rights to have been infringed upon can then apply for a constitutional interpretation, and attempt to challenge the law through Taiwan’s Constitutional Court.

Posted by Brit Smith

Brit Smith is a Staff Writer & Associate Editor at GWK. A native of London, England, she started her American adventure nannying and waiting tables in Texas in 2006, and eventually graduated magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley in 2017 with a BA in Biological Anthropology. She now lives in Massachusetts with her husband and their dogs Cosmo and Juno. Brit has previously written and created podcasts for WBZ NewsRadio, iHeart Media, and Different Leaf.



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