Issues AffECTing our FAMIlies

Below are some issues that our families face today. However, as the laws and social norms change, these challenges will be updated along the way.

  1. Same sex couples are not recognised as legal parents in Singapore and considered as single parents.

  2. In the event of a medical emergency, the biological parent is the only one allowed information, granted access or permission for care.

  3. In the event of death of the biological parent, the non biological parent have no custody rights to the child so additional steps of drafting up of wills, LPAs, testamentary guardianship needs to be obtained.

  1. Woman who wish to utilise their frozen eggs are required to meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, which includes being legally married.
  2. HDB does not view unwed parents with their children to have formed a “proper” family nucleus. They are forced into the singles scheme and are only allowed to buy a HDB at the age of 35.
  3. Ineligible to claim for Baby Bonuses, Tax Relief and Rebates such as Parenthood taxes / Working mother child relief.
  1. Children of singaporean gay men are considered to be born out of wedlock and thus unable to obtain any citizenship or PR for their children. In most cases, the children are on continuous tourist visa where parents have do a “visa run” where is the process of exiting and entering singapore to get a new tourist visa “stamp”. ICA can choose to reject any type of visa anytime so the risk of rejection or eviction out of singapore can happen anytime.
  2. Due to the children not being able to obtain any visas including a student pass, they will be denied from attending any school in singapore. This has forced many gay dads without any other alternatives for their children’s access to education to leave our shores permanently.
  3. One step forward, two steps back. At the end of 2018, the High Court approved a singaporean gay couple who fathered a child through surrogacy to adopt their biological son. New laws regarding adoption was then enacted and tightened under the Singapore’s Adoption of Children Act 2022 legislation whereby any method including the use of assisted reproduction technology or surrogacy to conceive outside of “parenthood within marriage” was deemed to go against public policy and will be taken into consideration when determining a couple’s suitability to adopt.
  1. Harmful narrative that queer people are not “pro family” or “anti family” and would destroy the fabric of family values. If you look into our daily lives as parents, we are no different or less than our heterosexual counterparts. Our joys, our struggles and the laughter that fills our homes with the unconditional love that any parent would for their children gives us strength.
  2. There is sometimes the perception that the children cared for by queer parents does not have the typical “Father & Mother” roles and the imbalance might affect a child’s development. Scientific research consistently shows that children of gay and lesbian parents are as psychologically healthy and well-adjusted as those reared by heterosexual parents.
  3. Huge amount of censorship on the depiction of queer families such as the 2014 National Library Board (NLB) saga that resulted in two children’s books ‘And Tango Makes Three’ and ‘The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption’ which contained homosexual content was removed from the shelves of libraries.