Mr Murali Pillai
MP for Bukit Batok SMC
To ask the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) in the past five years, how many applications for adoption of children under the Adoption of Children Act have been granted in favour of singles who are not biological parents of the adoptees; and (b) what further steps have been or will be taken to promote the adoption of Singaporean children.
1 Between 2013 and 2017, there were, on average, about 15 sole applications per year by never-married, divorced or widowed persons to adopt a non-biological child. This amounted to about 5 per cent of all adoption applications in a year. Some of these applicants were step-parents or relatives of the child. Most of these applications were granted by the Courts, based on the welfare of the child.
2 The number of adoptions involving Singaporean children has dropped over the years. This trend reflects our lower fertility rates. There are fewer Singaporean children available for adoption than there are prospective adopters. Nevertheless, we still encourage prospective adopters to consider adopting, such as children who have been abused or neglected, and whose birth families, despite our best efforts to support them, are assessed to be unsafe or unable to care for the children.
3 For couples who are able to love and provide for these children, we encourage them to contact any of the four MSF's accredited agencies, including TOUCH Family Services, Lutheran Community Care Services, Fei Yue Community Services and Apkim Centre for Social Services, for an assessment of their suitability to adopt. Ultimately, the underlying principle of adoption is to find a loving family that is able to meet the child's needs and committed to parenting responsibility.