Gay S’porean loses bid to adopt sur­ro­gate son

> Per­mis­sion un­likely to be given to ho­mo­sex­ual cou­ple, doc­tor told

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SIN­GA­PORE: A gay Sin­ga­porean man has failed in a bid to for­mally adopt his bi­o­log­i­cal son fa­thered via a sur­ro­gate in the US at a cost of US$200,000 (RM814,000).

The man, a doc­tor in a long-term re­la­tion­ship, ini­tially ap­proached au­thor­i­ties about adopt­ing in the city-state but was told a ho­mo­sex­ual cou­ple were un­likely to get per­mis­sion, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

The cou­ple trav­elled to the US where the doc­tor un­der­went pro­ce­dures for in­vitro fer­til­i­sa­tion and found a sur­ro­gate who agreed to carry his child for US$200,000.

A son was born and as the bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther, the doc­tor – who has not been iden­ti­fied – was al­lowed to bring him back to Sin­ga­pore to live with him. The boy is now four. The doc­tor ap­plied to for­mally adopt the boy in Sin­ga­pore to “le­git­imise” their re­la­tion­ship and hope­fully se­cure him Sin­ga­pore cit­i­zen­ship but a court re­jected his bid, ac­cord­ing to a judg­ment re­leased ear­lier this week.

Dis­trict judge Shobha Nair said that the doc­tor and his part­ner were aware that pro­ce­dures to help cou­ples have chil­dren were avail­able only to mar­ried cou­ples in Sin­ga­pore and there were no sur­ro­gacy ser­vices in the city-state.

Gay mar­riage is not per­mit­ted in Sin­ga­pore.

Sur­ro­gacy is not ex­plic­itly banned al­though of­fi­cial guide­lines pro­hibit the prac­tice in as­sisted re­pro­duc­tion cen­tres, ac­cord­ing to the Straits Times news­pa­per.

“The ap­pli­cant, a med­i­cal doc­tor him­self, was acutely aware that the med­i­cal pro­ce­dures un­der­taken to have a child of his own would not have been pos­si­ble in Sin­ga­pore,” the judge said.

“He can­not then come to the courts of the very same ju­ris­dic­tion to have the acts con­doned.”

The child’s wel­fare was not an is­sue in the case as he will con­tinue to be well looked af­ter by his bi­o­log­i­cal fa­ther and he is not state­less as he holds Amer­i­can cit­i­zen­ship, the judge said.

She was not swayed by the ar­gu­ments of the man’s lawyers, Koh Tien Hua, Ivan Cheong and Shaun Ho, who de­nied he was seek­ing to adopt the boy to form what would ef­fec­tively be a le­gally recog­nised gay family, the Straits Times said. – AFP

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