This section deals with the procedure for applying for adoption in the Family Justice Courts (FJC) with effect from 1 January 2015. The procedure in this section also applies to proceedings commenced before 1 January 2015 provided the matters are heard in the FJC. The information in this section does not cover the procedure that applies if your case is in the High Court, or had commenced before 1 April 2006.
The information provided below is general in nature and is not intended as legal advice. The FJC cannot provide legal advice or assist with drafting the contents of any document.
References to legislation:
Before you submit an application for adoption to the FJC, 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 Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) Website:
If you are adopting a Singaporean or Permanent Resident child, click here.
If you are adopting a foreign child (excluding children from the People's Republic of China), click here.
If you are adopting a child from the People's Republic of China, click here.
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.
Making an adoption application under the Adoption of Children Act for an infant below 21-years old
- Translation of original Birth Certificate of infant if it is not in English.
- Consent of paternal and maternal grandparents of infant if natural parents of infant are below the age of 21.
- To obtain Dependant’s Pass of infant and/or to renew the Dependant’s Pass if and when it expires during the adoption proceedings.
- Affidavit of natural mother/father needs to be obtained if the consent of the other parent is not obtained. In the event dispensation of consent is sought, the deponent needs to explain the efforts taken to obtain the consent of the other parent and why to his/her knowledge the consent is being withheld.
- To serve the Originating Summons and the Statement on the MSF when the
adoption application (Originating Summons) is accepted by the Court and to
file the consent from the MSF to act as Guardian-In-Adoption at the filing
CrimsonLogic Service Bureau
133 New Bridge Road,
#19-01/02 Chinatown Point,
Tel: 6538 9507
- Consider whether to engage a lawyer or act in person.
- Potential applicants may wish to seek for free legal advice by booking an appointment to see an officer of the Community Justice Centre (CJC) by calling CJC at +65 6536 0650.
- If the potential applicants engage a lawyer, the lawyer will be representing the potential applicants in Court and helping them to prepare the necessary documents for the application for a fee agreed between both the potential applicants and the lawyer.
- Alternatively, if the potential applicant thinks that they may have financial or other concerns in engaging a private lawyer, he/she may wish to go to the Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) to seek their service. They may wish to contact LAB at 1800 2255 529 for more information.
- If the potential applicant chooses to do the application himself/herself, he/she will need to:
The cost incurred for making the application will consist of the filing fees as charged by CrimsonLogic Service Bureau and the commissioning fees for the affidavit(s); a flat fee of $25 per commissioning and $5 per exhibit page.
- Obtain physical templates E-forms: Form 37 and Form 38 from CrimsonLogic Service Bureau located at Chinatown Point, #19-01.
- Download and fill up the mandatory forms (in Microsoft Word format) from the FJC website Form 39 (48 KB) and Affidavit in Support (152 KB). Print out the forms thereafter.
- Go before the Commissioner for Oath to swear/affirm the affidavit(s). The list for Commissioner for Oath can be found here: Commissioner for Oaths & Notary Public directories.
- All Court documents will need to be filed at the filing centre; CrimsonLogic Service Bureau located at Chinatown Point, #19-01, contact no: +65 6538 9507.
- Potential applicants acting in person will need to attend the Court hearings on weekdays which means that they may need to take leave from work to attend the Court hearings. The number of hearings required may depend on various factors.
- The majority of adoption applications will not take more than six months to complete.
- However, for a few cases, the duration may be longer depending on the completeness of the documents submitted, the complexity of the case and whether there is anyone objecting to the application.
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:
- Originating Summons for adoption, which is Form 37 of Appendix A to the Practice Directions;
- Adoption Statement, which is Form 38 of Appendix A to the Practice Directions;
- Affidavit in support of Originating Summons for adoption; and
- Other related documents.
More information on the specific documents are listed in the Adoption FAQ.
|2. Registrar appoints day for hearing
||The Registrar will schedule a day for hearing of Prayer 1(a), 1(b), and 1(c) of the Originating Summons for adoption, meaning:
- the appointment of the Guardian in Adoption (GIA);
- the dispensation of consent, if any; and
- service of documents, if any.
|3. Service of documents to Director of Social Welfare at MSF
||The Originating Summons for adoption and related documents will be served on the Director of Social Welfare at MSF (DSF).
|4. Filing additional documents
|| Additional documents should be filed, including the:
- DSF's written consent to be appointed GIA;
- 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 GIA
||Upon investigation, the affidavit will be prepared by the DSF. 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 adoption
||During the final hearing, the Judge may make an Adoption Order.
|9. Extract Adoption Order and Adoption Schedule
||Applicants 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.