Adopting a child in Singapore - Criteria, documents & costs

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The adoption process in Singapore primarily involves the MSF, the Family Justice Courts, and registered adoption agencies.

This is an entry about adopting a Singaporean child in Singapore.

  • For an entry on adopting a non-Singaporean child in Singapore, refer here.
  • For an entry on adopting a PRC child, refer here.


According to the Family Justice Courts of Singapore, the duration for most adoption applications tend to be lesser 6 months.[1] The following are the adoption agencies that work with the Ministry of Social and Family Development: TOUCH Family Services Ltd (official website), Fei Yue Community Services (official website), Lutheran Community Care Services (official website) and Apkim Centre For Social Services (ACOSS) (official website).

Requirements[edit | edit source]

Before adopting a child, there are a few prerequisites for the parties involved.

Adopted Singaporean child[edit | edit source]

In Singapore, the adopted child has to fulfill the following requirements for them to be adopted.

Age Citizenship
< 21 years old[2]
  • Singapore Citizen
  • Singapore Permanent Resident

Adoptive parents[edit | edit source]

In order to be able to adopt, potential adoptive parents have to fulfill the following requirements.[3]

Age Citizenship Marital status
  • > 25 years old
  • > 21 years older than the adopted child
  • < 50 years older than the adopted child
At least one person in the couple should be the following:
  • Singapore Citizen
  • Singapore Permanent Resident
  • Employment Pass holder
  • Singles
  • Married couples
  • Unmarried males cannot adopt a girl

Pre-Adoption Briefing (PAB)[edit | edit source]

The pre-adoption briefing is the compulsory first-step for potential adoptive parents.[4] Both spouses are encouraged to attend the briefing together.

Location Duration Fee (SGD) Register Notes
TOUCH Family Services Ltd

Fei Yue Community Services

2.5 hours $50 / person Online registration Available in English, Mandarin and Malay. This is a compulsory pre-adoption workshop.

Home Study Report (HSR)[edit | edit source]

APKIM Centre For Social Services is one of the registered adoption agencies in Singapore.

Potential adopters can find a child to adopt through personal connections (as long as they fulfill the prerequisites). Alternatively, they can find a child under State Care through MSF.

Potential parents must pass a home study before finding a child under state care.[5]

Fee (SGD) Register Notes
Home Study Report $1,500 TOUCH Family Services Ltd

Fei Yue Community Services

Lutheran Community Care Services

Apkim Centre For Social Services

The HSR is valid for 2 years and can only be used for 1 adopted child.[6]

Adopting a stepchild[edit | edit source]

Singapore citizens that want to adopt their stepchild can apply to have their Home Study Report (HSR) waived.[7] The adopters will need to submit the following documents:

  • NRIC
  • Marriage certificate
  • Child's birth certificate
  • Child's travel documents (if they are overseas)

Those who are adopting their child born out of wedlock can also waive the HSR if they submit the necessary documents (stated above) on top of DNA tests to prove the paternity.

Applying to the Family Justice Courts[edit | edit source]

The Family Justice Courts at Havelock Square in Singapore. Photo from The Straits Times.

Filing documents[edit | edit source]

Potential adopters can submit an application to the Family Courts personally or through a lawyer. A lawyer can help with the filing of necessary documents. The adoption forms can be assessed on the website (Family Justice Courts website).

GIA (Guardian In Adoption) Report[edit | edit source]

Potential adopters will then need to apply for the Director of Social Welfare to be their GIA. The GIA will decide if potential adopters are ready to adopt a child.[8]

These are the documents required to receive a GIA:

Documents Fee(s) Deliver & deposit Notes
  • Date of Pre-Adoption Briefing (PAB)
  • Originating summons of adoption (Form)
  • Adoption statement (Form)
  • Affidavit in support (Form)
  • Consent for adoption by the relevant parties
  • NRIC of the potential adopters
  • Marriage certificate of potential adopters
  • Birth certificate of the child that they want to adopt
$250 per application Child Welfare, Child Protective Service (10th floor)


MSF Drop Box, MSF Building Level 1

The cheque should be made payable to ‘AG/MSF’.

The documents have to be sealed in an envelope.

Potential adopters will then be interviewed by a Child Welfare Officer (CWO)(appointed by the GIA) from MSF.[9] There will also be a home visit. The responses collected will be used to prepare an affidavit. The adopters have to submit the affidavit to the Family Courts no later than 2 weeks after receiving it. The Family Courts will assess the adoption application based on these findings.

Adoption Order[edit | edit source]

It is compulsory for the adopter and/or their lawyer to attend the hearings. If the Family Courts grants the Adoption Order, they will inform the Registry of Births & Deaths and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) to issue a new birth certificate for the child, which the adopters will be informed to collect.


If the Court dismisses the application, the child will have to be returned to the original family.

Disclosure workshop (Post-adoption)[edit | edit source]

Adoptive parents can attend a Disclosure Workshop which will guide them in breaking the news to their adopted children.[10] This workshop is available at TOUCH Family Services Ltd and Fei Yue Community Services.

Location Duration Fee (SGD) Register Notes
TOUCH Family Services Ltd

Fei Yue Community Services

2.5 hours $50 / person Online registration This is an optional post-adoption workshop.

References / Citations[edit | edit source]

  1. "Adoption". Family Justice Courts. Accessed on 24 May 2019.
  2. "Adoption: Who can be adopted?". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Updated February 7, 2018. Accessed on 26 February 2019.
  3. ‘Adoption: Who can adopt?’. Ministry of Social and Family Development. Updated February 7, 2016. Accessed on 26 February 2019. Retrieved from: https://www.msf.gov.sg/Adoption/Pages/Who-can-Adopt.aspx
  4. "Adoption Portal". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  5. "Adoption: How to adopt a Singaporean or Permanent Resident Child". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Updated December 10, 2018. Accessed on 26 February 2019.
  6. "Adoption: How to adopt a Singaporean or Permanent Resident Child". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Updated December 10, 2018. Accessed on 26 February 2019.
  7. "Adoption: How to adopt a stepchild". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Updated February 7, 2018. Accessed on 26 February 2019.
  8. "Adoption in Singapore". PKWA Law Practice LLC. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  9. "Adoption in Singapore". PKWA Law Practice LLC. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  10. "Adoption Portal". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Accessed on 28 November 2019.