Gay and lesbian couples will now be able to legally adopt children in Taiwan, after the island’s legislature voted in favor of the change on Tuesday. Four years ago, Taiwan became the first jurisdiction in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage.
Previously, homosexual couples who wanted to adopt a child had to resort to a loophole whereby only one partner would register as the minor’s legal parent.
Last January, a Taiwanese court allowed a male couple to assume custody of a child. The judge, however, dismissed several other similar cases at the time.
Fan Yun, a lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, who was among the MPs who had spearheaded the bill, said she was “very excited” by Tuesday’s decision.
In early 2023, the Taiwanese government issued a directive allowing locals to marry a foreign spouse of the same sex. This applies to all jurisdictions, including those that do not recognize homosexual marriage, with mainland China being the sole exception.
In 2019, Taiwan became the first jurisdiction in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage. This was preceded by its Constitutional Court’s ruling two years prior to this, which deemed a ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
At the time, the self-governing island’s top judicial body gave lawmakers two years to either amend current laws or enact new ones.
LGBT rights group the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights hailed the latest move, saying it shows “the consensus in Taiwan is to protect the human rights of LGBTI peoples and promote gender equality.”
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