​​​This section provides a summary on Adoption matters at the Family Justice Courts.


The information provided below is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. The Family Justice Courts cannot provide legal advice or assist with drafting the contents of any document.  


References to legislation




Adoption is a legal process, governed by the Adoption of Children Act (Cap. 4). When an adoption order is passed by the court, the child's legal ties with the biological parents are severed and the adoptive parents will assume all rights, obligations and responsibilities over the child.

Before you submit an application for adoption to the Family Justice Courts, there are several pre-application procedures that you must complete. For more information on the pre-application procedures, please see the following links at the MSF Website:  

If you are adopting a Singaporean or Permanent Resident child (https://www.msf.gov.sg/Adoption/Pages/How-to-adopt-a-citizen-or-PR.aspx)

If you are adopting a foreign child (excluding children from the People's Republic of China) (https://www.msf.gov.sg/Adoption/Pages/How-to-adopt-a-foreign-child-excluding-children-from-the-Peoples-Republic-of-China.aspx)

If you are adopting a child from the People's Republic of China (https://www.msf.gov.sg/Adoption/Pages/How-to-adopt-a-child-from-the-Peoples-Republic-of-China.aspx)

Substantive issues arising in adoption proceedings are beyond the scope of this section, which focuses only on uncontested adoption proceedings. This section illustrates the general procedural guidelines and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all the procedural issues which may arise in adoption proceedings.



Adoption Workflow

The following table summarises the case-flow for adoption proceedings. If you are applying to adopt a child, you are known as the Applicant.

You are responsible for ensuring that the documents required to be filed comply with the Adoption of Children Act (Cap 4), the relevant Family Justice Rules and the relevant Practice Directions.


1. Filing documents

The following documents will be filed through the eLitigation system:

  1. Originating Summons for adoption, which is Form 37 of Appendix A to the Practice Directions;
  2. Adoption Statement, which is Form 38 of Appendix A to the Practice Directions;
  3. Affidavit in support of Originating Summons for adoption; and
  4. Other related documents.

    More information on the specific documents are listed in the Adoption FAQ.
2. Registrar appoints day for hearing

The Registrar will appoint a day for hearing of Prayer 1(a), 1(b), and 1(c) of the Originating Summons for adoption, meaning:

  1. the appointment of the Guardian in Adoption;
  2. the dispensation of consent, if any; and
  3. service of documents, if any.
3. Service of documents to Director of Social Welfare at MSFThe Originating Summons for adoption and related documents will be served on the Director of Social Welfare at Ministry of Social and Family Development ("DSF").
4. Filing additional documents

Additional documents should be filed, including the:

  1. DSF's written consent to be appointed GIA;
  2. The child's original birth certificate and certified translation (if any)
5. First hearing of Prayer 1(a), 1(b), and 1(c) of the Originating Summons for adoption

During the first hearing, the Judge may grant an Order in Terms for Prayers 1(a), 1(b), and 1(c).


6. Investigation by Guardian in AdoptionUpon investigation, the affidavit will be prepared by the Director of Social Welfare. This will be forwarded to the Applicant or Applicant(s)' counsel.
7. File Request for Further Hearing and service  

Applicant or Applicant(s)' counsel will file a Request for Further Hearing of Originating Summons and will serve on the relevant persons, unless the order of dispensation of service has been obtained.

If the Dependent's Pass has been renewed, it will be filed and exhibited in an affidavit.

8. Final hearing of Originating Summons of adoptionDuring the final hearing, the Judge may make an Adoption Order.
9. Extract Adoption Order and Adoption ScheduleApplicants will apply to extract the Adoption Order and Adoption schedule. The Court will send the sealed Adoption Order and schedule to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority ("ICA") for registration of the adoption and issue of a new birth certificate for the infant.


Click here to go to the Adoption FAQs. Then select Family Protection and Support. There is more information on the procedures for filing an application for adoption of a child and serving the relevant documents. 


Last updated on: 21/6/2017 11:00 AM


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