A lesbian in Taiwan has been told she can not adopt the children she parents with her partner, because it would have a “negative impact” on them will appeal the landmark case.
Neal Wang, 36, wanted to formally adopt the children that she and her partner of 15 years planned together and now co-parent. Wang’s partner, Ashley Chou, gave birth to their twins – one boy, one girl – who are now three.
Under Taiwanese law, the unmarried partner of a birth mother is not allowed to adopt their child – but the couple had applied as a “de facto” married couple, saying that they want to wed, but are barred as same-sex marriages are illegal.
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The court ruled against the adoption, citing potential “negative impact” on the children, despite an evaluation from a child welfare group finding Wang fit as an adoptive parent.
Wang spoke to reporters outside the Shihlin district court, as the couple announced their appeal bid.
“I have a healthy family and the children are happy. I don’t understand what the ‘negative impact’ would be. I was there from the beginning when the kids were still eggs and I’ve taken care of them like any other parent.”
The court ruling on Wang’s application also cited a lack of “consensus” on legalizing same-sex marriages.
The ruling said
“There are many objections against homosexual couples adopting children. If the adoption is recognized, the young children will be placed on the front line of the issue and face pressure from the outside, which could have a negative impact on their physical and psychological developments.”
Taiwan holds one of Asia’s biggest annual gay pride parades and its Cabinet drafted a bill in 2003 to legalize same-sex marriages and recognise the rights of homosexual couples to adopt children – the first in Asia to do so.
But the bill was never put to a vote due to lack of consensus among lawmakers.
Another bill to recognize same-sex marriage was sent to parliament in 2013, but advocacy groups say there has been no progress.