7 key changes proposed to adoption laws in Singapore, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

7 key changes proposed to adoption laws in Singapore

The Adoption of Children Bill 2022 was introduced in Parliament on Monday (April 4). It proposes seven key changes to current laws to deter unethical practices, to break cycles of abuse and to find a good home for children identified for adoption:

1. The new Bill makes clearer the proposed thresholds and circumstances, and specifies more grounds where the Court may dispense with the need for the birth parents' consent to adoption if a family wants to adopt a child. This will include cases where the birth parents have intentionally abused the child.

2. Those who have been convicted of serious crimes, including sexual, violence and drug-related offences, will not be allowed to adopt unless the Courts determines there are exception circumstances to permit the adoption.

3. It will be an offence to advertise a child for adoption with any information or picture which can identify the child, unless with approval from the Guardian-in-Adoption (GIA) appointed by the Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli. The GIA ensures the adopted child's best interests.

4. Every adoption agency must make public their fees to enable prospective parents to be more informed about the cost of adoption.

5. Adoption related payments will be regulated by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) to ensure that adoption agencies charge only for reasonable items.

6. It will be an offence for adoption agents to do anything fraudulently, use duress, undue influence or other improper means to obtain consent for adoption.

7. It will also be an offence to anyone to provide materially false or misleading information to the authorities in order to adopt.