A family court on Dec. 25 last year approved an appeal from a partner in a same-sex marriage, allowing him to become the adoptive father of a child originally adopted by his partner before they got married.
The case is the first in Taiwan in which both partners in a same-sex marriage have been legally allowed to adopt a child to which neither are biologically related.
The ruling, which was made public on Tuesday, meant that the couple, Wang Chen-wei (王振圍) and Chen Chun-ju (陳俊儒), would be able to register Chen as a parent to the child, nicknamed “Joujou,” at their local household registration office next week.
The court said the ruling was in the best interests of the child.
“Finally, the issue of Joujou’s parental rights has come to an end,” Wang wrote on Facebook.
However, while the decision is a breakthrough for the couple, who have fought for Chen to be able to adopt Joujou for more than two years, it does not offer a general precedent, Wang said.
“We will continue to fight. The key is having the law revised,” he wrote. “If our family wants to adopt another child, will we have to go through the same process again and gamble on which judicial affairs officer we get? Or will the law have been amended so it won’t be so hard for everybody?”
Wang referred to a lack of legislative clarity and the wide latitude for interpretation a judge or, in this case, a judicial affairs officer has to decide same-sex adoption cases.
The Act for Implementation of Judicial Yuan Interpretation No. 748 (司法院釋字第七四八號解釋施行法), which legalizes same-sex marriage, stipulates in Article 20 that if a partner in a same-sex union “adopts the genetic child of the other party,” civil law provisions on adoption would apply.
The law makes no mention of what happens if the child was adopted, leaving couples in Wang and Chen’s situation in limbo.
In their case, the Kaohsiung Juvenile and Family Court decided that Article 20 does not explicitly “prohibit the adoption of adopted children,” and that it would be “inappropriate to give a negative or discriminatory interpretation of the provision.”
The primary consideration in the case should be the best interests of the child, it said, adding that civil law provisions on adoption should apply.
A child should not be discriminated against because of their parents’ status, the court said, citing the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was enshrined into law in Taiwan in 2014.
However, other courts have been less willing to go beyond the letter of the law in similar cases.
The Taiwan Equality Campaign, a gay rights group that helped Wang and Chen along with two other couples seeking adoption, on Tuesday said that the two other couples had their request for adoption rejected, citing the courts as saying that the law did not specifically allow it.
The group said that the two couples would appeal the rulings.
However, the group’s ultimate goal is to achieve a constitutional interpretation by the Council of Grand Justices on the issue, as the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage used a similar tactic, it said.
A revision of the law is needed to provide greater clarity on adoption rights, the group said.
UNDER WATCH: Taiwan will have to establish a standardized nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus and monitor its spread, the CDC said The Langya henipavirus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans, has been discovered in China, with 35 human infections reported so far, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said, adding that the nation would establish a nucleic acid testing method to identify the virus. A study titled “A Zoonotic Henipavirus in Febrile Patients in China” that was published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday said that a new henipavirus associated with a fever-causing human illness was identified in China. The study said an investigation identified 35 patients with acute infection of the Langya henipavirus in China’s Shandong
MISSILE PATHS: Certain information on the Chinese missile fire was not disclosed to maintain secrecy over military intelligence-gathering capabilities, the MND said Military experts yesterday speculated on the implication of the government’s tight-lipped response and the lack of air-raid sirens during the first day of China’s military drills the previous day. On Thursday, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched 11 Dongfeng-series ballistic missiles into waters north, east and south of Taiwan, a day after US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s departure from the country, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said. The Japanese Ministry of Defense said that China fired nine missiles toward Taiwan, including four that flew over Taiwan proper. However, China’s exhibition of force failed to terrorize the local populace, because
If any war were to break out between the US and China, one trigger might be the increasingly frequent fighter jet encounters near Taiwan. Almost every day, Taiwanese fighter pilots hop in their US-made F-16s to intercept Chinese warplanes screaming past their territory. The encounters probe the nation’s defenses and force the pilots on both sides to avoid mistakes that could lead to a crisis that spins out of control. “I didn’t know whether they would fire at me,” said retired colonel Mountain Wang, recounting a tense five-minute confrontation he had with Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) jets more than a decade
INCREASINGLY EMBOLDENED: China can no longer be dismissed as inexperienced, demonstrating an ability to coordinate land and sea missile systems, an expert said Beijing’s largest-ever exercises around Taiwan have offered essential clues into its plans for a grueling blockade in the event of an attack on Taiwan, and revealed an increasingly emboldened Chinese military, experts said. The visit to Taiwan by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi — second in line to the presidency — sparked outrage from Beijing, which launched vast military maneuvers around the nation, even at the risk of partially exposing its plans to the US and its Asian allies. Mobilizing fighter planes, helicopters and warships, the drills aim to simulate a blockade of Taiwan and include practicing an “attack on