In a landmark ruling, Singapore High Court allows gay man to adopt surrogate child

Team SoOLEGAL 19 Dec 2018 5:50pm

In a landmark ruling, Singapore High Court allows gay man to adopt surrogate child

In a landmark judgment, the High Court of Singapore has ruled in favor of a gay man seeking to adopt his biological son born through surrogacy.  

The appellant, a doctor, had challenged a 2017 ruling in which it was held that the man could not adopt the child as he was born by a surrogate in the United States through in vitro fertilisation – a procedure restricted to unmarried couples in Singapore.

The man, in a homosexual relationship with another man for over 13 years, had paid $200,000 to a woman in the US to carry his child after he came to know that the couple cannot adopt a child in Singapore because of their sexual orientation.

The district court, which initially rejected the application – filed by the man for adoption of his son – in December 2017 said that the man had attempted to walk “through the back door of the system when the front door was firmly shut”.

A bench of Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash and Justice Debbie Ong, however, overturned the district court’s 2017 ruling on Monday.

We attribute significant weight to the concern not to violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units on account of its rational connection to the present dispute and the degree to which this policy would be violated should an adoption order be made,” chief justice Sundaresh Menon said while passing judgment in the matter.

However...we think that neither of these reasons is sufficiently powerful to enable us to ignore the statutory imperative to promote the welfare of the child,” the bench further added.

Interestingly, the Singapore’s High Court ruling has come amid a renewed public push to review the city’s colonial-era law under which sexual relations between consenting males carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail.

Tagged: Adoption of Child in Singapore   Gay Adoption Rights   Singapore High Court   Singapore  
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