Can a single man adopt a child in Singapore?

Full Question: My late wife and I did not have any children of own and she passed aways before we could adopt. Can a single man adopt a child in Singapore? What are the restrictions? I have a friend who knows a foreign couple who is willing to give up their unborn son for adoption for $25,000 — Is this acceptable?

Answer: A single/divorced/widowed person can adopt a child under local laws, provided he (i) is at least 25 years old, (ii) has a home in Singapore and (iii) is at least 21 years older than the child. The most significant restriction, and for obvious reasons, is that a single man cannot adopt a daughter alone unless special circumstances exist (e.g. you are the natural father of the child). It is also illegal for you to make any payments for an adoption, unless permitted by a court of law.

Usually, once the adoption process is underway, the court may approve payments for the nutrition of the mother or for maintenance of the baby, as long as the sum is reasonable and not amounting to a pay-off. The adoption process requires you to (with the aid of a lawyer) file and serve an Adoption Petition. The courts, together with a Social Welfare Officer, will determine your ability to raise the child, through a series of interviews and home visits.

Once the judge is satisfied that all the requirements of the Adoption Act are complied with, he will make an Adoption Order in your favour, after which, you can legally register yourself as the legal guardian of the kid. It's a complex and long-drawn procedure because the principle concern of the court is the welfare of the child, but it's well worth it if you've set your heart on being a good father.

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