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A district judge has rejected his bid to adopt the child - now four years old - whom he brought back with him to Singapore. The Adoption of Children Act "did not envisage the specific situation this case presents", the court said.
They approached the Ministry of Social and Family Development to inquire about the possibility of adopting a child, but were told that the ministry was unlikely to recommend adoption of children by a homosexual couple.
The man then travelled to the US, where his sperm was used to impregnate the egg of an anonymous donor using in-vitro fertilisation IVF procedures. As the biological father of the child, the Singaporean was allowed to bring the child back here to live with him. He started adoption proceedings to "legitimise his relationship with the child", the court heard. The Ministry of Social and Family Development MSF laid out its policy on adoption yesterday, when it commented on a court decision on a gay Singaporean doctor's bid to adopt a child he had fathered through surrogacy in the United States.
It said its position is "informed by Singapore's public policy, which encourages parenthood within marriage". According to past media reports, surrogacy is not explicitly banned here, although the Health Ministry's guidelines prohibit assisted reproduction centres from practising surrogacy. The MSF, in comments made last night on the failed bid, said all adoption applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis. The factors it considers include the applicant's parenting capacity, parenting beliefs, family circumstances, support network and ability to meet the child's long-term needs.
She explained that the director of social welfare, as the appointed Guardian-in-Adoption, opposed the Singaporean doctor's application on policy grounds. But the Family Justice Courts make the final decision on adoption applications, taking into account various factors such as the assessment and recommendation of the director of social welfare.