Singaporean court rejects man’s bid to adopt son he fathered by surrogate

A Singaporean court has rejected a man’s bid to adopt a child he fathered via a surrogate.

The man paid US$200,000 to a US based surrogate to father a child. He provided sperm and the child was created via artificial insemination, but despite being the child’s biological father the court has refused to formally recognise him.

The child, who is now four years old, lives with the man and his same-sex partner in Singapore. The couple have been together for 13 years.

The Adoption of Children Act “did not envisage the specific situation this case presents”, the court said.

The couple first approached Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development about the possibility of adopting a child but were told they would not be eligible  because they are in a same-sex relationship. Homosexuality remains illegal in country.

Knocked back from adoption then then decided to utilise surrogacy to start their family.

In handing down her judgement the judge in the case said the man was aware that Singapore does not condone surrogacy, nor does it allow IVF technology to be accessed by anyone except married heterosexual couples.

Judge Shobha Nair said the couple was trying to use a back door to create a gay family.

“This application is in reality an attempt to obtain a desired result – that is, formalising the parent-child relationship in order to obtain certain benefits such as citizenship rights, by walking through the back door of the system when the front door was firmly shut.” the judge said in handing down her judgement.

The judge said the case had no effect on the welfare of the child who would continue to have food and a roof over his head as he was permitted to live with his biological father. The judge also said the child would continue to be a citizen of the United States and faced no chance of become “stateless”.

Judge Nair said the court was making no judgement on the effectiveness of same sex parenting, but simply apply the law that was supported by the majority of Singaporeans.

“This court is obligated to interpret the law and not make it. The law mirrors the morality and wishes of the majority of Singaporeans… this case has very little to do with the propriety and/or effectiveness of same-gender parenting.”

OIP Staff

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