Why are less people adopting?
Compared to 2004, the number of adoptions in Singapore has dropped by a brow-raising 50 percent. Find out why the numbers have been heading downhill the past few years.
The steadily falling number of adopted babies in Singapore has garnered attention recently and this decreasing trend has materialised in a record low adoption rate, one that is half the number of that from around ten years ago. From a high of 731 adoptions in 2004, 2012 saw only 396 successful adoptions.
Why are there less adoptions now? We studied the recent happenings and found three main reasons behind the low rates of adoption locally.
Mandatory home study reports
Upon the introduction of compulsory home study reports on prospective adoptive parents in 2005, the following year saw an immediate fall in the number of adopted babies. The report, which takes a few months to complete, includes long interviews with social workers as well as home visits and background checks.
The lengthy procedure also involves deep and seemingly intrusive probing, turning many potential couples off since. While most understand the necessity of such regulation to ensure that the adopted child grows up in the best possible environment, many interested couples find it overly invasive and think twice about the extensive hassle before following through with their plans to adopt.
Furthermore, having a home study report done can cost up to S$1,500. This amount is in addition to the child’s medical expenses and administrative costs incurred in the adoption process.
Fewer unwanted babies
With the increased use of birth control and contraceptives in Singapore as well as neighbouring countries, especially in developing nations, there has also been a decline in the number of unplanned pregnancies and unwanted babies. This has seen both a fall in the number of local as well as foreign babies up for adoption.
Foreign adoption has dropped too, as middlemen from overseas are less keen to work with Singaporean agents in light of the locally enforced stricter regulations, extensive documentation and more stringent checks required.
With around 12,000 abortions locally a year, the number of missing babies have also contributed to fewer children being put up for adoption. With regard to this, some Singaporean Members of Parliament (MPs) have been encouraging mothers who are considering abortion to put their child up for adoption, a more humane decision, instead.
RELATED: Abortion in Singapore
Realising the need to support adoptive parents
Identifying the factors that lead to the fall in adoption rates is a step in the right direction, but in order to encourage more adoptions in Singapore, it is essential that we understand the importance of supporting and appreciating adoptive parents as a society.
Shouldering the massive responsibility that all parents have in bringing up their little ones, adoptive parents also have the additional responsibility of "normalising" adoption in order to build a positive attitude towards it.
RELATED: Bringing home your adopted infant
Watch the video below on how to be more understanding and empathetic towards adoptive parents:
If you have adopted a child in Singapore, do join our adoptive parents support group on Facebook