IDs might have new category for same-sex parents

By Chen Yun and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Thu, Feb 28, 2019 - Page 2

New national ID cards to be issued next year could include a separate adoptive parent entry for same-sex couples, Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) told the Legislative Yuan yesterday.

Under the draft “enforcement act of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748,” same-sex couples would be able to legally entitled to raise children who are biologically related to one of the two spouses.

A new household registry system for the cards has been readied and could be used immediately after the law goes into effect, Hsu said.

The bill that was submitted to the Legislative Yuan on Tuesday is expected to take effect on May 24 if approved by lawmakers.

The change would only apply to the “parents” column on the ID card, while the “spouse” entry on cards for married same-sex couples would not differ from those already in use for heterosexual couples, Hsu said in response to a question from Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Jason Hsu (許毓仁).

Although the exact wording on household registries for LGBT spouses could still change before final implementation, the consensus is to use “father, adoptive father” and “mother, adoptive mother” on forms for married same-sex couples with children, Hsu Kuo-yung said.

Asked by Jason Hsu if the measure would also apply if one member of a same-sex couple is from China, Hsu Kuo-yung said that the issue would be decided by the Mainland Affairs Council, which was not represented at yesterday’s meeting.

Pressed for an answer, the minister said that the issue was outside of the purview of the Ministry of the Interior, but that it would make all required adjustments to registration systems.

The ministry would also need to await input from the Ministry of Justice before final changes could be implemented, as adoption issues also touch upon its regulations, he added.

Separately, Hsu Kuo-yung said that his ministry has invested NT$4.05 billion (US$131.6 million) into the design of the ID cards, which are to have electronic features.

The cards are to display less information and would be highly resistant to forgery, he said.

Issuance of the cards would begin on a test basis starting in October next year, with plans for full nationwide implementation within two years, he said.