Another landmark for gay rights. On Monday, Singapore’s high court overturned a 2017ruling in which a district judge said the man could not legally adopt a child because he was conceived through in-vitro fertilization. The Singaporean doctor who had been fighting to adopt a child he fathered in the United States through a surrogate won the right to adopt the child.
This win came as a breakthrough in a socially conservative country of Singapore where sex between men is punishable by up to two years in jail and children born out of wedlock are considered illegitimate and do not have the same rights as those born to married couples, unless legally adopted.
The 46-year-old doctor, who chooses to be unidentified, had been fighting to legally with his long-term partner to adopt his son, now 5, in an effort to acquire citizenship for the boy and secure his long-term residency in the city-state.
In delivering the court's judgment, Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon emphasised that the ruling "should not be taken as an endorsement" of the man's actions.
He said the court attributed "significant weight to the concern not to violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units."
But he added: "The evidence has demonstrated to us that it is very much in the interest of the child that the adoption order be made, having regard principally to the fact that his prospects of acquiring Singapore citizenship could be significantly enhanced."
After the historic win, the man told CNN in an emailed statement that the legal process had "been a long and difficult journey for our family" but "we are happy and relieved with the High Court's ruling."
He continued: "We hope that with the adoption order, it will increase the chances of our son residing in Singapore for the long term. Singapore is the only place we have known as home, and is where we wish to raise our family. We would like to thank our family, friends and the community for their support and encouragement. We ask for privacy during this time so that our family can celebrate the holidays."