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Same-sex couple's adoption bid rejected: report

2015/03/13 22:40:32

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 13 (CNA) A Taiwanese lesbian couple on Friday filed an appeal against a decision by the Shihlin District Court rejecting their application to adopt their children, according to a report by the United Evening News (聯合晚報).

The couple, who identified themselves by their pseudonyms "Ta Kuei"(大龜) and "Chou Chou" (周周), said that they have been in a relationship for about 15 years, and that 6 years ago, one of them gave birth to two children in Canada via artificial insemination.

Since then, the couple and their children have been living together as a family.

Ta Kuei said that ever since Chou Chou gave birth to the children, she had played the role of the father figure, adding that she has been providing for the children.

In August last year, Chou Chou and Ta Kuei became the first lesbian couple in Taiwan to file for adoption.

Ta Kuei said that prior to submitting their adoption application, they had gone through an assessment by the Child Welfare League Foundation (CWLF, 兒童聯盟福利基金會), which recommended that they seek to ensure the interests of the two children by having their family relations recognized in the eyes of the law, through adoption.

The Shihlin District Court, however, on Friday rejected their adoption application.

The court said that its decision is based on Taiwan's Civil Code, which defines spousal and marital statuses as a union between a man and a woman, and the fact that the ongoing movements for legal recognition of "diverse family formations"(多元成家) have yet to garner approval by society.

The court also said that if the two children were to be legally adopted by their parents, they will likely be negatively impacted by the experience of growing up in an unconventional family.

The assessment by the CWLF recommends adoption only if the interests of the children can be ensured.

Meanwhile, several social organizations showed their support for the couple's cause on Friday.

Wang Tseng-yung (王增勇), a professor at the Graduate Institute of Social Work at National Chengchi University, railed against the court decision, saying that current legal guidelines do not list the status of the spousal relationship of the adoptive party as the main criteria in adoption cases.

In light of favorable assessments by the CWLF, Wang also found that the court's explanations on diverse family formation and concerns over possible negative impacts for the children to be unacceptable.

Fan Li-hsi (范瓈兮), secretary-general of the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy, meanwhile said that the court's decision represents the nation's refusal to recognize Ta Kuei and Chou Chou's family, a situation akin to legally-backed discrimination against same-sex families.

(By Ted Chen)