Gay Singaporean man wins landmark appeal to adopt surrogate child


0

A gay Singaporean man has won a landmark court case which will allow him to adopt a child he fathered through a surrogate.

The man, 46, and his long-term partner carried out the process in the US at a cost of $200,000 (£159,000), as surrogacy is illegal in Singapore.

He tried to legally adopt the child but the bid was rejected last year, leaving him with no legal parental rights.

Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Singapore and gay sex is illegal.

The four-year-old child is considered illegitimate in the eyes of the law as the surrogate mother and biological father are not married.

The mother – who waived all her rights under the surrogacy deal – is also foreign, making the child ineligible to automatically qualify for Singaporean citizenship. The egg donor has never been identified.

The father was left with no legal rights parental, though was allowed to make decisions on the child’s behalf.

‘Child’s best interest’

The man’s initial bid to adopt his child was rejected last December, though the judge at the time said the decision was not a judgement on what “a family unit ought to be”.

Instead, Judge Shobha Nair said it was about the ethics of commercial surrogacy.

On Monday, Singapore’s High Court ruled that the man – who cannot be identified – would be able to adopt his child.

“Our decision should not be taken as an endorsement of what the appellant and his partner set out to do,” said Chief Justice Sunderesh Menon in his judgement.

He said that there was “significant weight” put towards the concern that the ruling would “not violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units”.

However, he added that in this case, there was a “statutory imperative to promote the welfare of the child… to regard his welfare as first and paramount”.

Speaking to the BBC, lawyer Ivan Cheong said his client was “overjoyed and happy that at the end of a long adoption process, the child’s welfare is upheld”.

“At the end of the day, it is about what is in the child’s best interest,” Mr Cheong of Eversheds Harry Elias LLP said.

“Being recognised as a legitimate child and having his long term residential status met have always been our client’s primary concerns.”


Like it? Share with your friends!

0

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win
BBC

Choose A Format
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
Video
Youtube, Vimeo or Vine Embeds
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format