Singapore bans gay man from adopting own child

  • 29/12/2017
epa04234125 A man holds a rainbow flag during the first Cyprus Pride parade at the Eleftherias square, in central Nicosia, Cyprus 31 May 2014. The parade was held as part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community's first Gay Pride Festival in the country.  EPA/KATIA CHRISTODOULOU
Photo credit: AAP

A Singapore court has rejected a gay doctor's bid to adopt his biological child because he was born by a surrogate mother in the United States through a procedure not available for unmarried couples in the island state.

In Singapore, sex between consenting males is a crime with a maximum penalty of two years in jail, although prosecution is rare.

In-vitro fertilisation is allowed only for married couples and surrogacy services are not available for anyone.

The man, in a homosexual relationship with a partner, paid $200,000 for a woman to carry his child through IVF in the US after he learned he was unlikely to be able to adopt a child in Singapore as a gay man.

A Singapore court ruled against his bid to adopt the child this week, saying the steps he had taken to have the baby in the United States would not have been possible in Singapore.

"He cannot then come to the courts of the very same jurisdiction to have the acts condoned," the court said.

"This application is in reality an attempt to obtain a desired result ... by walking through the back door of the system when the front door was firmly shut."

The child, who is about four years old and is legally an American citizen, will remain in the care of the man.

The man, whose name has been withheld because the case involves a minor, is exploring his options in relation to the decision, his team of lawyers said.

"The primary reason that motivates him is that like any father he wants the best for his son, he wants his son to be legitimate in the eyes of the law and to ensure that he has all the necessary benefits to set him on the right path," said one of his lawyers, Ivan Cheong.

Reuters