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VET v VEU [2020] SGHCF 4

Outcome: Application dismissed


1 The plaintiff and the defendant are a same-sex couple caring for two children who were birthed by surrogacy. The plaintiff, the biological father of both children, adopted them in Singapore and the US respectively. In this application, the plaintiff applied for the defendant to be appointed the legal guardian of both children under section 5 of the Guardianship of Infants Act (Cap 122, 1985 Rev Ed) (“GIA”). The defendant consented to the application.

Court’s Decision:

2 The Family Division of the High Court dismissed the application.

3 Parental responsibility to safeguard the welfare of children is not dependent on the married or unmarried status of her parents. It is not a voluntarily delegable responsibility, unless the parent gives the child up for adoption: at [16] and [17].

4 Section 5 of our GIA does not empower the courts to appoint guardians outside of the circumstances in sections 6 and 10: at [37].

5 However, the court may also appoint guardians when exercising its wardship jurisdiction, provided that it is necessary for the protection of the child: at [39].

The full text of the decision can be found here.

This summary is provided to assist the public to have a better understanding of the Court’s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. All numbers in bold font and square brackets refer to the corresponding paragraph numbers in the Court’s judgment.
Subject Matters: General children issues

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