Taiwan Parliament Passes Amendment Allowing Joint Adoption for Gay Couples, Marking Progress for Marriage Equality


Taiwan’s parliament made significant strides towards marriage equality on Tuesday as it passed an amendment granting the right of joint adoption to gay couples. This move, celebrated by activists as a pivotal advancement, builds upon Taiwan’s status as a trailblazer in the LGBTQ rights movement in Asia. In 2019, the country became the first in the region to legalize marriage equality. Prior to this amendment, same-sex couples faced restrictions, including the inability to adopt children jointly. While individual adoption regardless of sexual orientation was permitted in Taiwan, same-sex married couples were not both recognized as legal parents unless the child was biologically related to one partner. On the eve of the fourth anniversary of Taiwan’s marriage equality law, the parliament eliminated these restrictions with the passage of the amendment. Lawmaker Fan Yun commended the cross-party support for the bill, emphasizing that it not only upholds children’s rights but also serves their best interests. During the announcement, Fan draped herself in a rainbow flag, symbolizing LGBTQ pride.

This amendment comes following a groundbreaking ruling by a family court in Kaohsiung City last year, which granted parenthood rights to a married gay man seeking to share custody of his husband’s adoptive child. The recent legislation has been a culmination of four years of dedicated efforts by advocacy group Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, who celebrated the parliamentary decision. Additionally, the alliance praised Taiwan’s recent recognition of transnational same-sex marriage, a development implemented in January by then-premier Su Tseng-chang to remove restrictions for international couples. The recognition extended to couples from Hong Kong and Macau, though mainland China remained governed by different regulations. With the adoption amendment and the recognition of transnational same-sex marriage, Taiwan continues its significant strides towards achieving full marriage equality.

The thriving LGBTQ community in Taiwan, exemplified by the record-breaking participation of 200,000 individuals in a 2019 pride march in Taipei, demonstrates the widespread support for these advancements. The initial legalization of same-sex marriage was spurred by a ruling from Taiwan’s top court, which deemed the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples as discriminatory and unconstitutional. According to 2021 data from the Interior Ministry, at least 7,000 same-sex couples have wed in the country since the law’s implementation. The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights pledged to persist in advocating for further rights for same-sex couples, including the recognition of Taiwanese-Chinese marriages.


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