Gay Singaporean can now adopt son

Updated: Dec 18, 2018, 13:15 IST | Agencies | Singapore

While Singapore is affluent and modern in many ways, attitudes towards homosexuality are routinely criticised as outdated

Representational Image
Representational Image

A gay Singaporean man Monday won the right to adopt a child he fathered via a surrogate in the United States, in a landmark court ruling for the conservative city-state.

While Singapore is affluent and modern in many ways, attitudes towards homosexuality are routinely criticised as outdated. Gay marriage is not permitted and sex between men remains illegal under a law that dates from the British colonial era, although it is rarely enforced.

In the latest case, the man - who is in a long-term relationship - first enquired about adopting in Singapore but was told a homosexual couple was unlikely to get permission. He found a surrogate in the United States who agreed to carry his child for US$200,000. Surrogacy is effectively banned in Singapore. A son was born and he is now five years old.

The man, a 46-year-old pathologist who has not been identified, brought the boy back to Singapore and applied to formally adopt him, in the hope of securing him Singapore citizenship. A district judge rejected the initial application in December last year. But he appealed to Singapore's High Court, which ruled in his favour.

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