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Who Can Adopt?

Under the Adoption of Children Act (ACA) 1939:

Applicants must be residents in Singapore to adopt, i.e.:

  • Singapore Citizens

  • Permanent Residents

  • Holders of Employment Pass, Dependant’s Pass, or any other Pass which the Family Court deems as proof of residency in Singapore

Under the new ACA 2022:

  • If you and your spouse are applying to adopt a child – one of you must be a Singapore Citizen (SC) or both of you must be Permanent Residents (PRs).

  • If you are applying to adopt a child as a sole applicant – you must be either a SC or PR.

  • You and your spouse must be habitually resident in Singapore.

  • You and your spouse must have resided in Singapore for a continuous period of at least one year immediately preceding the application for an Adoption Suitability Assessment.

  • You and your spouse must not be convicted of serious crimes.

MSF has stopped issuing Letters of Approval.

Before the new Adoption of Children Act (ACA) 2022 takes effect:

If you and your spouse are Permanent Residents (PRs), or if you are a PR adopting as a sole applicant, you must ensure that:

  • The adoption in Singapore is recognised in your home country

  • The legal requirements for adoption in your home country are met

  • The adopted child will be granted permanent stay in your home country

  • You must (a) obtain a favourable HSR report [and Dependant’s Pass (DP) if the child is not a Singapore Citizen (SC) or PR] and (b) submit an application to Court before the ACA 2022 takes effect. Otherwise, the new requirements under the ACA 2022 will apply.

Under the new Adoption of Children Act (ACA) 2022:

If you are a foreigner applying to adopt a child with your spouse who is a Singapore Citizen:

  • You do not need a Letter of Support.

  • You should ensure that your home country will recognise Singapore’s adoption order (if granted); and the adoption will meet the country’s legal or immigration requirements (where relevant).

If both you and your spouse are PRs, or if you are a PR adopting as a sole applicant:

  • You should ensure that your home country will recognise Singapore’s adoption order (if granted), and the adoption will meet the country’s legal or immigration requirements (where relevant).

  • Applicants should not be more than 50 years older than the child.

  • Applicants must fulfill the following criteria:

    • At least 25 years old

    • Must be at least 21 years older than the child to be adopted

  • Only married couples can adopt as joint applicants.

  • Married applicants who wish to adopt as a sole applicant must obtain the consent of their spouse, unless the Court grants the dispensation of such consent.

  • Single males are not allowed to adopt a girl, unless there are special circumstances that justify the making of an adoption order.

Under the Adoption of Children Act (ACA) 1939:

  • Obtain a Certificate of Attendance for Pre-Adoption Briefing (PAB)

  • Obtain a favourable Home Study Report, unless you have obtained a waiver from MSF

  • Obtain consent from the relevant persons

Under the new Adoption of Children Act (ACA) 2022:

  • All applicants are required to attend (a) a Pre-Adoption Briefing and (b) a Disclosure Briefing conducted by MSF’s authorised adoption agencies and, (c) obtain a favourable Adoption Suitability Assessment from these agencies, before making an application to Court.

    • Pre-Adoption Briefing (PAB) - You may find out more from MSF’s authorised adoption agencies.

    • Disclosure Briefing (DB) - Early disclosure of adoption is important as it impacts the child’s confidence, self-esteem, and bonding with the adoptive parents.

You may check the websites of the authorised adoption agencies to find the fees they charge for the PAB and DB.

If you are applying to adopt a child from the PRC, please contact either TOUCH Community Services or Fei Yue Community Services.

Requirement by China Centre for Children's Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA)Child is from social welfare institution in PRCRelated ChildStepchild
  • Applicants must be at least 30 years old, and the younger of the applicants should not be more than 55 years old.

  • Applicants adopting a child with special needs must be between 30 to 55 years old.

Marital Status
  • Only married couples who have been married for at least 2 years can adopt jointly.

  • If either applicant has been divorced previously, the applicants must be married for at least 5 years.

  • Applicants who have been divorced more than 2 times are not allowed to adopt.
Children in the House
  • Applicants should not have more than 5 children. Youngest child in the house should reach 3 years old.
  • Applicants should be childless in their present marriage, and previous marriage (if any)
IncomeApplicants’ annual household income per capita (including the adopted child) must be at least US$10,000. The value of the applicants’ net assets should be at least US$80,000. N.A.
Educational HistoryApplicants must have received education of at least senior high school (equivalent to GCE ‘A’ Level) or vocational skills training (equivalent to a National ITE Certificate).N.A.
Medical HistoryApplicants must be physically and mentally fit.N.A.
NationalitySingapore Citizens onlyAt least one applicant must be a Singapore citizen. The other applicant must be a Permanent Resident or Employment Pass holder.
Criminal RecordsApplicants must not have any criminal records for offences such as child abuse, sexual offences, violent offences, and drug or alcohol abuse among others.N.A.
TrainingApplicants are required to undergo at least 12 hours of training from an accredited agency on adoptionN.A.
Reference LettersApplicants are required to provide at least 3 reference letters from adult children (18 years old and above) from your marriage or teachers of your young childrenN.A.
Consent from Biological ParentsNAApplicants must obtain consent from the biological parents giving up the child for adoption. (consent from the other biological parent for Stepchild adoption case, custody of child is insufficient)

If the biological parents are deceased or missing, you must produce the death certificates or make an application to the Chinese court to declare that the biological parents are deceased/missing.

Applicants need to inform the biological parent/s of the child to seek the approval of the Civil Affairs Department of their local provincial government for the adoption.
Relationship with ChildN.A.The child to be adopted must belong to a collateral relative by blood of the same generation and up to three degrees of kinship, such as a niece or nephew whose parent is a sibling or cousin of either of the applicants.Biological or legally adopted child of the applicant’s spouse.
Age of Prospective AdopteeBelow 18 years old