How to Adopt Your Step-Child in Singapore
This article is written in the perspective of a Singaporean couple.
If you are looking to adopt your stepchild, the adoption process can differ based on whether your stepchild is a:
- Singapore Citizen, or
- Singapore Permanent Resident with a foreign citizenship, or
- Foreign citizenship and in the midst of applying for Dependent Pass.
When your Step-Child is a Singapore Citizen
For adopting your stepchild who is a Singaporean citizen, the local laws of adoption are applicable (do check out our post on adoption laws applicable to Singaporean citizens here).
A key difference between adopting a stepchild and adopting a non-stepchild is the ability to apply for a waiver for the Home Study Report.
A Home Study Report assesses your family's readiness to care for an adopted child. It is conducted by professional social service staff from voluntary welfare organisations accredited by MSF.
If you and your stepchild are citizens of Singapore, you can apply to the Ministry of Social and Family Welfare (MSF) for a Home Study Report to be waived. The documents you need to submit to MSF for a waiver request include:
- Your and your spouse's NRIC
- The stepchild's birth certificate
- Marriage Certificate
- Your residential address
If the child is not residing in Singapore and is born overseas, you need to submit the travel documents on when the child is arriving to Singapore.
Do note that MSF has ultimate discretion whether to grant you a waiver of Home Study Report.
When your Step-Child is a Non-Singapore Citizen
For adopting your stepchild who is a non-Singaporean citizen, additional procedures may be applicable if your stepchild’s country of resident has laws prohibiting foreign adoption proceedings.
Example: Adopting a stepchild who is a citizen of China
If your stepchild is a citizen of China, you may need to comply with the requirements set out in China and in Singapore.
To elaborate, you will need to legalise the adoption in China by being present there along with your stepchild.
Once you return to Singapore with the stepchild, you will need to apply for a DP (Dependent's Pass) for your stepchild.
Applications to adopt a child from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) must be made through agencies accredited by MSF and the Ministry of Civil Affairs of PRC. These agencies are:
- TOUCH Community Services Ltd
- Fei Yue Community Services
This is followed by the adoption application to Singapore Family Court, where all the standard procedures for a foreign child adoption will apply.