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21 Aug 2014

Lesbian couple in Taiwan go to court for recognition of their two children


A lesbian couple in Taiwan is petitioning the local courts in an attempt to rectify laws which currently bar one of the women from claiming two of their children as her own.

Chou Shu-chi, now 35 years old, and Wang Shu-yi, 36, who have known each other since they were university students and been together for 15 years had decided four years ago to start a family in Canada.

After finding a sperm donor in there, Chou was artificially inseminated and gave birth to two children, a girl and a boy, according to wantchinatimes.com.

After their return to Taiwan, the couple learned that Wang is legally barred from custody of the children she raised and has considered her own since their conception because Taiwan laws forbid and do not recognize marriage between same-sex couples.

Hence the children are technically under the custody of only their living biological mother as laws do not prevent gay singles from adopting children.

The couple in the hope of rectifying this submitted their case to the Shilin District Court on Aug. 13.

The two children are now three years old and are recognized by the couple’s parents, family members and friends as their children but only Chou is registered as their legal parent in accordance with Taiwan laws.

Wang said that she is worried that in the event that something were to happen to Chou, her children will be taken away, nor would they be able to inherit her assets when she passes away.

She expressed the hopes to get her parenthood certified by applying through court in what if acknowledged would be a landmark case for Taiwan’s custody laws.

A spokesperson for the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy was quoted as saying that Wang will have to go the route of adoption if she wants to earn legal custody of the children.

Marriage between same-sex couples is not legally recognized in Taiwan, although 3.5 to 5 percent or at least 1.2 million of the 23.4 million people in Taiwan identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

However, there is stiff opposition to marriage equality laws, as seen in last year’s rally against revising Article 972 of the Civil Code to change the term “man and woman” to “two parties” in the article concerning marriage and the term “father and mother” to “parents” in the Civil Code.

Reader's Comments

1. 2014-08-22 16:24  
1) Make a will.
2) Get on with your life.
2. 2014-09-02 08:51  
Law ? Who came up with these laws ??? And we have to conform to their values and standards ???

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