Sat, May 09, 2009 - Page 2 News List

KMT, groups urge easing of rules on spouses’ children

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Shyu Jong-shyoung (徐中雄) and several activists yesterday urged the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) and the legislature to approve a proposed amendment that would relax rules on Chinese spouses bringing children from previous marriages to live with them in Taiwan.

Shyu told a press conference that he had proposed an amendment to the Act Governing the Relations Between the Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area (兩岸人民關係條例) that would allow the children of Chinese spouses under the age of 20 to seek Taiwanese residency as a dependent.

Under current regulations, only children under the age of 12 can apply for residency as a dependent.

Shyu said his proposal would also allow Chinese spouses and their Taiwanese husband or wife to adopt the Chinese spouses’ children in China whether or not they have children in Taiwan.

Current laws only allow couples to adopt a spouse’s children in China if they do not have any children of their own in Taiwan.

Shyu said the current regulations were a violation of the human rights of Chinese spouses.

A Chinese spouse identified as Hsiao-wen (小文) said that although she had worked hard to look after her family in Taiwan, her family would never be complete without her daughter in China.

Hsiao-wen said her husband had been unable to adopt her 10-year-old daughter in China because they now have a child in Taiwan.

“I married my husband in Taiwan five years ago, but I have been separated from my child [in China] because of my remarriage,” she said.

Wang Chuan-ping (王娟萍), chairwoman of the New Immigrants Labor Rights Association, urged the government to protect the right of Chinese spouses to be with their children.

Shyu said he would forcibly push through his proposed amendment if the MAC could not propose other measures to guarantee the rights of Chinese spouses.

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