In Taipei, Wang Chen-wei, a single man who answers to the name “Weiwei” (圍圍) on social media, adopted a baby girl by the name of Rourou (肉肉). According to current regulations in Taiwan, adoption is open to people married or single; whether male or female.
“Weiwei” is homosexual and was single. However, once he obtained adoption of Rourou, Weiwei “married” his partner, Chen Chun-ju; known on social media as “Miaomiao” (喵喵). In Taiwan, “marriage” between people of the same sex was made legal in May 2019. The couple then immediately made a request for the adoption of Rourou by “Miaomiao“, but despite the fact that the wedding was instrumentally postponed for the purpose of adopting the child, this request was rejected. The current law, the Enforcement Act of Judicial Yuan Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 (司法院釋字第748號解釋施行法)allows for the adoption–in a same-sex “marriage”–of the child of the partner, but only when it is a biological child.
The two men initiated legal proceedings to allow “Miaomiao” to legally adopt the child and on Tuesday, January 4, “Equal Love Taiwan,” a coalition of five organizations advocating for LGBT+ rights on the island, announced on Facebook that the court ruled in favor of the couple: “[…] in view of the fact that the two parties […] are in fact jointly managing their lives together” and “[…] in order to protect the rights and interests of the child”.
This is the first time in Taiwan that a same-sex couple can legally adopt a child who is not the biological child of either of them. But even that doesn’t seem to be enough, even in the context of a legislation on LGBT+ rights considered among the most “progressive”; at least among Eastern countries.
“Equal Love Taiwan” in fact complained that the ruling only applies to the parties in the specific case, not setting legal precedent for any future cases. The group then made a request to the government to amend the law to allow all same-sex couples to have the same adoption rights as heterosexual couples.
Judging by the enthusiasm of pro-LGBT+ associations, it is easy to imagine that this first sentence will be, unfortunately, not the last.