China Court Rules on LGBT Couple’s Landmark Child Custody Case

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09/17/2020

A court in eastern China’s Fujian province has ruled against a woman who sued her ex-partner for custody of their 1-year-old daughter in a landmark legal case involving a same-sex couple. The Huli District People’s Court in the city of Xiamen ruled in favor of Amei — the pseudonym media have been using for the birth mother — on grounds that the parental relationship between the child and plaintiff could not be legally established solely on the basis of the child having the plaintiff’s genes, according to a summary of the verdict the court published last week. The plaintiff, Xiaoti — also a pseudonym — had provided her eggs for in vitro fertilization last year, and the resulting embryo was then injected into Amei’s body. “The recognition of this kind of parent-child relationship should follow the basic principles of civil law,” the verdict summary read. “According to basic moral values, the maternal relationship is not defined by genetic continuity, but by the emotional attachment (formed) during months of pregnancy and the ordeal of childbirth.”

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