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Same-sex couples will now have full adoption rights in Taiwan

People wave rainbow flags during a mass wedding banquet for gay couples in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei in 2019. Taiwan legalized gay marriage in 2019. But until now, those married couples could only adopt children related to one of the partners.
Sam Yeh
/
AFP via Getty Images
People wave rainbow flags during a mass wedding banquet for gay couples in front of the Presidential Palace in Taipei in 2019. Taiwan legalized gay marriage in 2019. But until now, those married couples could only adopt children related to one of the partners.

Taiwan's legislature passed an amendment Tuesday that allows same-sex couples to adopt children they are not biologically related to — a move cheered on by LGBTQ advocates.

Taiwan legalized gay marriage in 2019, becoming the only place in Asia that allows it.

However, those married couples could only adopt children related to one of the partners. Lawmakers with the island's Democratic Progressive Party said this was a dangerous setup — especially if one parent died and the other could not get legal rights to the children. They said it could even disincentivize same-sex couples from marrying if one person already had children.

On Tuesday, Taiwan's Legislative Yuan amended the same-sex marriage law to widen joint adoption.

The Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights has been calling for this change. In the wake of the 2019 legalization of same-sex marriage, it said the island "fails to guarantee the full rights of same-sex couples in matters of adoption."

After the legislature took action, "today's success shows that the consensus in Taiwan is to protect the human rights of LGBTI peoples and promote gender equality," the alliance said in a statement, according to CNN.

Taiwan is notable for its liberal attitudes towards gender, sexual orientation, and marriage.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Emily Feng is NPR's Beijing correspondent.