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Taiwan legalizes adoption for LGBTQ+ couples

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LGBTQ+ activists are celebrating this week after the Taiwanese legislature voted to legalize LGBTQ+ adoption.

In 2019, Taiwan became Asia’s only country to recognize marriage equality, but until now, only heterosexual couples and single people could adopt children that are not biologically related to them. As such, LGBTQ+ couples who wanted to adopt children that were not biologically related to one of them could only select one person to be the legal parent. Many worried about what would happen to the children if the legal parent died.

Progressive lawmaker Fan Yun said she is “very excited that we granted joint adoption rights to same-sex couples.”

“Legally, we have finally returned same-sex couples to their children. Parental love is the same, and only through joint adoption can we protect the rights and interests of each other by law.”

A statement from the Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights said that the legislation’s “success shows that the consensus in Taiwan is to protect the human rights of LGBTI peoples and promote gender equality.”

The organization added that LGBTQ+ couples in Taiwan are still fighting for access to assisted reproduction as well as recognition of cross-strait relationships – meaning one person is from Taiwan and one is from mainland China.

Taiwan has become known for its openness to LGBTQ+ identities. In 2021, it was announced that in 2025, it will become the first country in the region to host the WorldPride international events. 

This will be the first WorldPride held in Asia since it was held in the Middle East in 2006, when Israel hosted the delayed festivities amidst a war with Lebanon.

Homosexuality was never outlawed in the island nation and conversion therapy was banned in 2018. In part because of Brokeback Mountain, directed by Taiwanese director Ang Lee, LGBTQ+ identity became less of a taboo.

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