Why is it more difficult to adopt now?
The prices for adoption have spiked in the recent years following stricter regulation compounded by a shrinking number of babies. Find out how a baby can now cost up to S$28,000 and why adopting seems like a more difficult option now.
After the 2004 ban of adoption of babies from China, adoption agencies in Singapore have reported a fall in business as the price to adopt a child gradually rose to its presently staggering amount. Checks on prospective parents also become sterner, causing a dip in this sector.
The rising price tag to adopt a child in Singapore now reads around S$20,000 to S$28,000 for a baby, nearly 20 to 50 percent higher than that of a decade ago. Similarly, there are now less than 5 active adoption agencies in Singapore, compared to double that amount 10 years back.
While it is against the Singapore law to pay biological parents to give up their child without the court’s approval, a significant amount of money does change hands in this long and difficult process. Besides paying for hospital bills and check-ups, the adoptive parents also have to bear the costs of pre and post natal consultations and follow-ups.
Additionally, a token is usually given in appreciation to the birth parents. This is given in a red packet angbao typically valued anywhere between S$10,000 to S$16,000.
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Besides the monetary aspects, the adoption journey includes thorough checks and paperwork that lengthens the already-tedious process. Documents such as the child’s identification papers and notarised consent from the birth parents giving the child up for adoption are required, in addition to a declaration by prospective adopters that the child is not obtained through illegal means.
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Legal requirements also include details of the financial transactions involved in the adoption, such as reimbursement for the birth mother’s medical and welfare expenses. The need for such documentation and the hassle that it brings with it has successfully deterred many, both local couples and foreign adoption agents, from undertaking the process in the first place.
In Singapore, although adoption agencies are not regulated by law, the Ministry of Social and Family Development has put in place stringent checks to ensure that the welfare of children are protected.
Couples in Singapore who are looking at adoption should take heart in the fact that such strict regulation ensures that both families’ interests are safeguarded. Commenting on the prevalence of adoption syndicates that make illegal adoption suspiciously smooth-sailing and easy, Mr Ronnie Tan, an adoption agent in Singapore, warns couples of such frauds.
Like pregnancy and childbirth, bringing an adopted child home is never a simple nor straightforward process. However, the happiness from a new bundle of joy at home would definitely make all the arduous preparation for it more than worth it.
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