A court in Hong Kong has decided in favor of a lesbian couple fighting for joint parental status over their reciprocal IVF-born child.
The couple went to South Africa to undergo reciprocal IVF as the procedure is not legal in China, and when they returned the Hong Kong government only legally recognized one of the mothers. Last year, the couple took their case to court.
Reciprocal IVF is a fertility technique used by many lesbian couples in which one mother donates her eggs for fertilization and another mother carries the pregnancy.
According to Pink News, last week, judge Queeny Au-Yueng ruled that the government’s decision to deny both parents legal recognition was a form of discrimination against the child.
Au-Yueng said “The court should be astute to the changing world where people build families in different manners other than through a married or heterosexual relationship.”
This is not the first monumental move for LGBTQ+ couples this month in Hong Kong. Weeks ago, Hong Kong’s top court ruled that the government must adopt a legal framework to recognize same-sex couples. However, same-sex marriage remains illegal in the city.
One of the couple’s lawyers Evelyn Tsao state that the parental court decision was “one giant step forward for the rainbow families in our LGBTQ+ community.” Meanwhile, support for queer couples and families in Hong Kong is at an all time high according to Pink News, with over 60 percent of citizens believing the current laws should change.