SINGAPORE, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Singapore’s high court on
Monday allowed a gay doctor to adopt his biological son, a
landmark ruling in the socially conservative city-state that
comes almost a year after his initial bid was rejected.
The decision overturns a 2017 ruling in which a court said
the man could not adopt the boy because he was born by a
surrogate in the United States through in-vitro fertilization –
a procedure not available to unmarried couples in Singapore.
The ruling also comes amid a renewed public push to review
Singapore’s colonial-era law under which sex between consenting
males carries a maximum penalty of two years in jail, after a
repeal of a similar law in India this year.
“We attribute significant weight to the concern not to
violate the public policy against the formation of same-sex
family units on account of its rational connection to the
present dispute and the degree to which this policy would be
violated should an adoption order be made,” chief justice
Sundaresh Menon said.
“However…we think that neither of these reasons is
sufficiently powerful to enable us to ignore the statutory
imperative to promote the welfare of the child.”
The man, in a homosexual relationship with a partner, paid
$200,000 for a woman to carry his child through in-vitro
fertilization in the United States after he had learned he was
unlikely to be able to adopt a child in Singapore as a gay man.
The district court which initially rejected the application
in December 2017 said that the man had attempted to walk
“through the back door of the system when the front door was
(Reporting by John Geddie; Editing by Nick Macfie)