Last month a same sex couple finally did what no others have been able to do in Taiwan, they adopted a child. However, due to legal issues, they did not actually adopt the child as a couple. One of the fathers adopted her as a single man.

The adoption process in Taiwan, as in other countries, is hard enough for straight, married couples. It often stretches on for years. However, gay couples are not even legally allowed to adopt. Though one member of the couple is sometimes able to adopt as a single parent, offering them a loophole that still gives some the option to raise kids, if they are willing to put in the extra work created by an unequal system.

The couple worked for years, 5 to be exact, in order to adopt their daughter. Even now that there has been legal registration, only one father is a legal guardian. Not only is this clearly frustrating for the pair, it also poses difficult and potentially disastrous obstacles in their path.

Without legal status, one of the fathers does not even have the full rights to do things like visit his daughter in the hospital, a situation which the two encountered when their daughter was in the hospital previously. Some couples are even forced to get divorced and then remarry if they wish to adopt, again creating complex legal issues for couples wishing to adopt, complications that heterosexual couples would never have to face.

There is no reason for this double standard aside from, at the very least, gross ignorance and at worst blatant homophobia. Same sex couples should be afforded the same rights as straight couples, including in the area of adoption. Taiwan still has many children looking for loving homes. If couples are willing to provide one and have demonstrated their ability to do so, their genders shouldn’t matter.