#asinglelove:The Directory

Useful information for single unmarried mothers in Singapore

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Legal Adoption


What is it?

  • For unmarried parents with an illegitimate child, adoption is an option that can make your child legally legitimate.
  • Both Muslims and non-Muslims can adopt. However, Muslim adopted children are not eligible to inherit their Muslim adopted parents’ estate and vice versa.


Am I eligible?

Parent must be:

  • Singapore citizen, Permanent Resident or holder of Employment Pass, Dependant’s pass or any other pass that qualifies you as a resident
  • At least 25 years old, and at least 21 years older than the child to be adopted, but not more than 50 years older than the child
    • Discretion lies with the Court to allow single parents who are under 25 years old to adopt their biological children.
  • A single male is not allowed to adopt a girl, unless there are special circumstances to justify the adoption.
    • Discretion lies with the Court to allow single fathers to adopt their biological daughters.

Child must be:

  • Singapore citizen, Permanent Resident or holder of Dependant’s pass
    • If the child is born in Singapore but is not a Singapore citizen nor a citizen of any other country, you must obtain a letter from ICA to state that ICA has no objections to the adoption. It is not necessary to get a dependent’s pass for the child.
  • Below 21 years old


What factors should I consider?

There are pros and cons to adopting your child, because it means that:

  • Your child becomes legitimate, and no longer has the negative label of illegitimacy attached. Therefore your child will also have the same level of priority as children born within marriage for inheritance of their parents’ estate under Civil Law.
  • The biological father gives up all ties to the child. Thus he will no longer have any access rights to the child, but he will also no longer be obligated to pay maintenance.
  • Adopting your child will not make you eligible for government benefits that are limited only to married parents (e.g. Extended Baby Bonus Cash Gift, housing, etc.)


Do I need a lawyer?

You can apply for adoption yourself, or engage a lawyer to do so. Adoption usually costs $800 for court fees and MSF fees. Lawyers usually charge about $3,000 and above on top of the fees.


How do I apply?

The entire adoption application process takes 6 months to 1 year.

  • 1

    Pre-adoption briefing

  • 2

    Home study report (can be waived)

  • 3

    Obtain notarised consent of both biological parents (if possible)

  • 4

    Obtain ID documents of child

  • 5

    Apply to Family Court

  • 6

    Court appoints a Guardian-In-Adoption (GIA)

  • 7

    Attend interview with child welfare officer from ministry

  • 8

    Case hearing

  • 9

    Registration of child


Next steps


6325 7619 (Family Justice Courts adoption hotline)
6355 6388 (Ministry of Social and Family Development adoption hotline)


Family Justice Courts
3 Havelock Square
Singapore 059725

Register online for pre-adoption briefing

Register online

Apply for Home Study Report

Apply here