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Lesbian couple raising twins sue Taiwanese government to get both recognized as mothers

Chou Shu-chi and Wang Shu-yi are raising twins together but the Taiwanese Government refuses to recognize Wang as a legal guardian of her children as she was not the birth mother
Taiwan's National Palace Museum is a prominent landmark in Shilin District
Photo by Peellden

Taiwanese lesbians Chou Shu-chi and Wang Shu-yi are suing the Taiwanese Government after it refused to recognize them both as legal guardians of the twins they are raising together.

The couple have been together for 15 years since meeting in college and four years ago they decided they wanted to start a family so Chou traveled to Canada to undergo an assisted reproduction procedure.

The couple were told there was a 60% chance the procedure would not work so they were blown over when they discovered they were having twins - a boy and a girl.

‘We felt like we had won the lottery,’ Chou told the Taipei Times.

But while birth mother Chou has legal guardianship of the children, Taiwan does not allow people in same-sex relationships to adopt their partner’s children, so Wang has no parental rights.

The couple sought to register Wang as their children’s co-parent with Taiwan’s registry office however as Taiwan does not legally recognize same-sex relationships in any way they were turned away.

The same thing happened when they approached the Taipei City Government.

The couple are now suing to try to get Taiwan’s civil code regulations relating to step-parents extended so that they will allow Wang to be recognized as their children’s stepmother

The couple’s lawyers filed their case with Taipei’s Shilin District Court yesterday with supporters from the Taiwan LGBT Family Rights Advocacy group accompanying them to the court.

‘We’ve been together for 15 years and we’ve raised our children for more than three years,’ Wang told the Taipei Times.

‘We are in a stable relationship and form a very stable, happy family. All we are seeking is legal recognition of that, so we can be a family not only in real life, but also in the eyes of the law.’

It is unknown at this stage how long it will take the court to hear their case.

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