Real Estate Concept - Family Care And Protection

Are you eligible to adopt a child?

Under Singapore’s Adoption of Child Act, both married couples and singles can adopt a child. However, if you are a single male, you will not be allowed to adopt a girl unless special circumstances exist.

In addition, you must be:

  • A citizen or resident of Singapore
  • At least 25 years of age
  • At least 21 years older than the child

These rules may be waived if special circumstances justify the adoption (if you and the adopted child are blood relatives, for instance).

The Child must fulfil these requirements

The child must be under 21 years old and must be a Singapore resident.

A foreign-born child may be adopted but will need to get a Dependant’s Pass from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).

Who can be adopted?

You can identify a child on your own or through MSF, your relatives and friends.

You can also adopt your stepchild.

You must obtain the consent of the natural parent(s).

The child must be under 21 years old and a Singapore resident.

A foreign-born child may be adopted but will need to get a Dependant’s Pass from the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

If you are adopting your own step-child

If you are adopting your stepchild, you may apply to MSF to waive the Home Study Report (HSR) if you are a Singapore Citizen. This is not possible for foreigners adopting their stepchildren.

If your stepchild is a Singapore Citizen, the process is the same as adopting a child who is a Singapore Citizen.

If your stepchild is of foreign citizenship, the process will follow that of adopting a foreign child.

If you are adopting a Singapore-born child

Once the paperwork is completed, your lawyer will file a petition with the Family Court.

The Family Court will appoint the MSF’s Director of Social Welfare as Guardian-In-Adoption (temporary legal guardian).

The MSF then conducts any necessary investigations and prepares the social investigation report.

If the Family Court is satisfied with the application, the Family Court will grant the Adoption Order.

The adopted child will be issued with a new birth certificate that reflects you as the parent.

If you are adopting a Foreign-born child

There are more steps involved if you are adopting a foreign-born child.  These are:

  • Register for a workshop with the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
  • Get a Home Study Report from the MSF.  The home study report can take months to complete as it involves lengthy interviews with a social worker who will ask detailed questions, such as the couple’s childhood and their attitudes to parenting.
  • You must submit the Home Study Report and an application for a Dependant’s Pass (DP) to the MSF.
  • The MSF will issue an in-principle approval for a DP and an entry visa for the child (may take up to four weeks).
  • You must also go to the child’s country of origin and apply for legal adoption there (if required by the laws of the child’s country), and arrange to bring the child to Singapore.
  • When the child arrives in Singapore, you must take it to the MSF to get the DP (and visa, if necessary).
  • You must sign a Security Bond and pay a Security Deposit.

The Family Court will appoint an official from MSF as Guardian-In-Adoption (temporary legal guardian).

The MSF then conducts any necessary investigations and prepares the social investigation report.

Once the Family Court will hear the petition and grant the Adoption Order, the child will be issued with a new birth certificate that reflects you as the parent.  It is advisable that you also apply for Singapore citizenship or permanent residency for the child at the same time.

How long does the adoption application take in court?

In general, it takes about six months for the court to approve.

What are the costs involved?

Under Singapore law, you cannot pay the birth parents any money for giving up their child for adoption.  You may, however, reimburse them for pre-natal and post-natal expenses, including hospital delivery bills.

Adoption agencies charge about $20,000 and $40,000.

At PKWA Law, our fees for applying to the court for the adoption order start from $3500.

RELATED ARTICLES:

PKWA Adoption Legal Fees 

ABOUT PKWA FAMILY LAW

At PKWA Law, our Family Lawyers are consistently named as leading Singapore family and divorce lawyers by respected legal publications such as Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific, Straits Times, Asian Legal Business, Singapore Business Review and Doyle’s Guide.

Contact us at tel 6854-5336 for a free first consultation.

Disclaimer: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only, and to enable you to learn more about our firm, our services and our lawyers.  Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  Readers of this website should engage a lawyer to obtain advice with respect to any particular legal matter.