Singaporean citizen has won the legal right to adopt a child he fathered through a surrogate

For the first time, the Supreme Court of Singapore has recognized the right of a gay man legally to adopt a child born to a surrogate mother. True, the Singapore authorities insist on the anonymity of the procedure, without mentioning the data of the father and son involved in the case.

The 46 y.o. singapore man and his long-term partner carried out the process in the US at a cost of $200,000, as surrogacy is illegal in Singapore.

He tried to legally adopt the child but the bid was rejected last year, leaving him with no legal parental rights.

Same-sex marriages are not recognised in Singapore and gay sex is illegal.

The four-year-old child is considered illegitimate in the eyes of the law as the surrogate mother and biological father are not married.

The mother - who waived all her rights under the surrogacy deal - is also foreign, making the child ineligible to automatically qualify for Singaporean citizenship. The egg donor has never been identified.

The father was left with no legal rights parental, though was allowed to make decisions on the child's behalf.

Under Singapore law, children can be adopted by singles or by married couples. However, as the man cannot legally marry his partner - he would have to file his adoption as an individual.

The man's initial bid to adopt his child was rejected last December, though the judge at the time said the decision was not a judgement on what "a family unit ought to be".

Instead, Judge Shobha Nair said it was about the ethics of commercial surrogacy.

Now Singapore's High Court ruled that the man, who cannot be identified, would be able to adopt his child.

"Our decision should not be taken as an endorsement of what the appellant and his partner set out to do," said Chief Justice Sunderesh Menon in his judgement.

He said that there was "significant weight" put towards the concern that the ruling would "not violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex family units".

However, he added that in this case, there was a "statutory imperative to promote the welfare of the child... to regard his welfare as first and paramount".

Speaking to the BBC, the lawyer Ivan Cheong from Eversheds Harry Elias LLP said, that his client was "overjoyed and happy that at the end of a long adoption process, the child's welfare is upheld".

"Being recognized as a legitimate child and having his long term residential status met have always been our client's primary concerns", - said Mr. Cheong.


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