In Landmark Ruling, Singapore HC Allows Gay Couple To Legally Adopt Their Son

17 Dec 2018 10:46 AM GMT
In Landmark Ruling, Singapore HC Allows Gay Couple To Legally Adopt Their Son

In a landmark judgement, Singapore High Court has ruled in favour of a gay man who sought to adopt his biological son, whom he fathered through a surrogate. This judgement overruled a 2017 order, which said that he could not legally adopt his son, as he was born via in-vitro fertilisation in the United States- a process not allowed in Singapore.

“We attribute significant weight to the concern not to violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units on account of its rational connection to the present dispute and the degree to which this policy would be violated should an adoption order be made,” Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said, reported ABC News.


Eligible to be Singapore’s citizen

Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Singapore and gay sex is illegal. The child was considered illegitimate in the eyes of law as the biological mother and father were not married. This judgement, not only gives legal parental rights to the couple but also make the child eligible for Singapore’s citizenship.

The mother of the four-year-old waived all parental rights during surrogacy. The egg donor was never identified. The 46-year-old man, who has been with his partner for the last 13 years, will now have legal rights over the child.

Singapore allows adoption to singles and married couples. As Singapore does not recognise homosexual relationships, couples have to apply individually for adoption rights. Last year, the judgement said that he cannot adopt the child because of the ethics of commercial surrogacy.

“Our decision should not be taken as an endorsement of what the appellant and his partner set out to do,” said Chief Justice Sunderesh Menon in his judgement. He further said that there was “significant weight” put towards the concern that the ruling would “not violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units”.

The judgement is important as Singapore’s colonial-era law bans oral or anal sex between consenting homosexuals. A similar law was overturned in India a few days back. British Prime Minister Theresa May apologised for the legal legacy at a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London this year.


Also Read: “Learning Is Not A Competition”: Singapore Will No Longer Rank Students By Exam Results

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