Adopting a foreign child in Singapore

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

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

  • For an entry on adopting a Singaporean/ PR 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.

Adoptive parents[edit | edit source]

In order to be able to adopt, potential adoptive parents have to fulfil the following requirements.[2]

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.[3] 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.

Documents required[edit | edit source]

Lutheran Community Care Services is one of the registered adoption agencies in Singapore.

The following are the documents needed for adopting a non-Singaporean child (in chronological order).

Letter of Support[edit | edit source]

For non-Singapore Citizens who want to adopt a foreign child, they must get approval from their home country. The Letter of Support is needed before the Home Study can commence.

Location Register Notes
Respective embassies or High Commissions Application form This is compulsory for foreigners who want to adopt a foreign child in Singapore.

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

Potential adoptive parents must pass their HSR before applying for the Dependant's Pass.

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.[4]

Dependant's pass[edit | edit source]

If the child is not a Singapore citizen in any form, the adoptive parents will have to apply for a Dependant's Pass. This should be done after the Home Study Report (HSR).

Fee(s) (SGD) Register Duration
Dependant's pass $360[5] Online registration 3 weeks (online registration)

Successful applicants need to put down a S$1,000 - S$2,000 security deposit on the collection day.[6] This will be refunded 2 months after the child is adopted.

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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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 adopt?". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Updated February 7, 2016. Accessed on 26 February 2019.
  3. "Adoption Portal". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  4. "Adoption: Apply for a Home study Report". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  5. "Apply for a Dependant's Pass". Ministry of Manpower. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  6. "How Much Does Adopting a Child in Singapore Cost? According to A Single Mum, $32,000". Moneysmart. September 2, 2019. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  7. "Adoption in Singapore". PKWA Law Practice LLC. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  8. "Adoption in Singapore". PKWA Law Practice LLC. Accessed on 28 November 2019.
  9. "Adoption Portal". Ministry of Social and Family Development. Accessed on 28 November 2019.