Want to adopt a child in Singapore? Here's the process

Want to adopt a child in Singapore? Here's the process

Want to adopt a child in Singapore? Congratulations! Before you begin, here is a checklist that is required by the Singaporean adoption law and a list of organisations that can provide valuable services and information throughout the adoption process.

In order to adopt a child in Singapore, you (the adoptive parents) need to be eligible according to the Singapore adoption law.

The Singapore Adoption of Children Act states that:

  1. You need to be above the age of 25
  2. You need to be at least 21 years older than the child you adopt (An exception may be granted if the adopter is related to the child by blood.)
  3. They should also not be older than the child by more than 50 years.
  4. If married, you need to have the approval of your spouse
  5. You need to be of sound mental health
  6. 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 Community Development, Youth and Sport (MCYS).
  7. Both married couples and singles can adopt a child. However, a single male is not allowed to adopt a girl unless special circumstances exist.
  8. They must be Singaporean citizens or permanent residents, or hold passes which the Family Justice Courts deem fit to qualify them as residents in Singapore.

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


son mother

According to the Ministry for Social and Family Development (MSF), a couple can look for a child to adopt through their relatives, friends or other parties.

Can local couples adopt a foreign-born child?

Yes, but they must meet the requirements set by the authorities and must complete a home study – which costs about $1,500 – that assesses their eligibility and readiness.

The bulk of foreign adopted babies used to come from Malaysia and Indonesia.

But there has been a growing trend of people turning to online forums to look for babies to adopt as there are fewer babies from these countries up for adoption.

How long does the process take?

According to MSF, it takes between five and seven months from application to approval from the Court.

This could take longer when adopting a foreign child as it involves a home study report and application for a Dependent’s Pass.

What are the costs?

It is illegal to pay the birth parents for giving up their child for adoption, although adopting couples can reimburse them for pre-natal and post-natal expenses, including hospital delivery bills.

If a couple goes through an adoption agent to look for a child, they can incur fees of between $25,000 and $35,000.

A detailed breakdown of all financial transactions, including agent fees and reimbursement to parents, must be provided to the Court.

Key adoption contacts:

# Ministry of Social and Family Development
Tel: 63555000
Email: [email protected]
512 Thomson Rd, 298136
Website: app.msf.gov.sg/

# Controller of Immigration
ICA 24-Hour Hotline: (65) 6391 6100
Email: [email protected]
Visitor Services Centre
4th Floor ICA Building
10 Kallang Road
Singapore 208718
Website: http://www.ica.gov.sg

# Family Justice Courts 

Tel: (65) 6325 7619 (for adoption enquiries)
Fax: (65) 6435 5116
Family and Juvenile Court
3 Havelock Square
Singapore 059725


Adoption in Singapore -- Is it too difficult and too expensive?

Adoption in Singapore — Is it too difficult and too expensive?

Accredited Agencies for Home Study Report

In order to adopt a child in Singapore, adoptive parents must complete a home study report,  which involves interviews with a social worker who probes the couple’s state of marriage, finances, childhood and attitudes to parenting.

The social worker will also visit the home, speak to family members and friends and do background checks for mental illness or any criminal record.

It costs $1,500 to get a report done and may take up to a year to complete. 

#TOUCH Family Services Limited

(Accredited to handle China adoptions)
Block 162, Bukit Merah Central
#05-3545 Singapore 150162
TEL: 6317 9995
FAX: 6317 9989
EMAIL: [email protected]
WEBSITE: http://adoption.tcs.org.sg/

#Fei Yue Community Services

(Accredited to handle China adoptions)
Social Service Hub
#03-02 Tiong Bahru Central Plaza
298 Tiong Bahru Road
Singapore 168730
TEL: 6593 6453
FAX: 6274 5453
EMAIL: [email protected]
WEBSITE: http://www.fycs.org/

#The SBL Vision Family Service Centre
Block 946 Tampines Ave 4
#01-338 Singapore 520946
TEL: 6544 2263
FAX: 6544 2253
EMAIL: [email protected]

#Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society
(Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre)
Block 18 Jalan Membina
#04-01 Singapore 164018
TEL: 6270 6711
FAX: 6270 9663
EMAIL: [email protected]
WEBSITE: http://www.thkms.org.sg/

#Singapore American Community Action Council (for expatriates only)
10 Claymore Hill
Singapore 229573
TEL: 6733 9249
FAX: 6733 9321
EMAIL: [email protected]
WEBSITE: sacac.com/

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Written by

Roshni Mahtani

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