For those considering adopting a child:


Do I need a Home Study Report (HSR)?

If you are intending to adopt a foreign child or a child under statecare/fostercare, you need to have a HSR. If you are intending to adopt a Singaporean child, you are not required to have a HSR. If you are using SteppingStones services, you are required to obtain s HSR

How long does the HSR process take?

Typically, the HSR process with take 2-3 months depending on how complex the case and if all necessary document has been submitted on time.

How do I apply for the HSR?

You may log in to the www.msf.gov.sg/adoption to apply for it.

Is there a waiting time?

There are 4 agencies conducting the HSR, each agency has a different waiting time line. The waiting time can be seen when you select the agency that you want to work with.

Do I need to have a minimum income?

No. However you need to show that you can provide for the child till he/she is independent.

What areas will I be assessed on?

You will be examined on:

  • Marital stability
  • Health
  • Financial stability
  • Parenting attitude & skills
  • Career commitment & childcare arrangement
  • Resources & support networks

Legal process

How long will the legal process take?

Typically, around 6 – 9 months.

Do I need to hire a lawyer?

Yes. It is best to hire a lawyer that has experience in adoption. At SteppingStones we have an appointed lawyer from Wong Alliance LLP.

Must I provide an alternative caregiver for my child in the event of my death or incapacity to parent?

Yes. However, your appointed alternative caregiver does not have to be legally appointed.

Do I need to get post placement reports after adoption a child?

No. However is you are adopting a child from India, China and Thailand, you will be required to submit post placement reports.

Can foreigners apply for HSR?

Only foreigners residing in Singapore can apply.


Is there any age criteria for me to adopt a child?

You must be at least 25 years old and 21 years older that the child. The Ministry of Family and Social Development (MSF) requires you to be not more than 50 years old.

I am a British national, can I adopt a child?

You will not be able to adopt a child in Singapore

I am not legally married but have a live-in partner, can I adopt?

Only legally married spouses can apply to adopt a child together.

Can a single (unmarried) applicant apply?

Yes, however the process will take longer as there will be case conferencing with other agencies. Time line is indefinite. To note that single male applicant cannot adopt a female child in the absence of special circumstances, like adopting your niece.

For mothers and parents who intend to put up your child up for adoption

I did not plan for this pregnancy. What should I do?

Every woman’s situation is different. Whether you are excited, unsure or even upset about your pregnancy, it is important to be clear-minded before you move forward with any decision. Here are some first steps to consider:

  1. Confirm your pregnancy with a doctor because a home pregnancy kit can have varying degrees of accuracy. We recommend you visit a General Practitioner (“GP”) or Obstetrician-Gynaecologist (“Gynae”) to confirm your stage of pregnancy.
  2. Understand your options in detail. These include:
    1. Parenthood: Giving birth and raising the child as a parent.
    2. Adoption: The legal act of entrusting your child to another person/couple to bring the child up as their own.
    3. Abortion: A medical procedure to intentionally end your pregnancy, resulting in the death of your child.
What is adoption?

Adoption is the legal act of entrusting your child to another person/couple who will bring him or her up as their own.

What do I need to do if I want to place my child up for adoption?

You may contact us @ SteppingStones
Tel: 8878 9804 / 6441 3906 | Email: admin@steppingstones.com.sg

Who will cover the expenses of the adoption process?

Generally, the adoptive parents will cover the legal expenses of the adoption process and medical expenses related to the birth of the child. It is against the law for biological parents to receive payment in return for placing their child for adoption without the court’s approval.

Can I change my mind about adoption after I give birth?

If the final legal document has not been signed, you may still change your mind about placing your child for adoption. However, once the final court order is submitted, you will not be able to change your decision.

How does this affect my child?

All legal ties between your child and you will be broken off. The adoptive parent(s) will have all the rights and responsibilities in nurturing and providing for the child.

Will my child be safe?

Singapore has a strict set of criteria regarding adoption. You can find out more on how to be an adoptive parent here.

Can I send my child to foster care?

You cannot choose to send your child to foster care. Children who require foster care may have been hurt by abuse or neglect, or are unable to be cared for by their parents who may be ill, incarcerated or have passed away. These children will be placed in a foster home where a foster parent will care and provide for them. More information on foster care can be found here.

What should I do if I chose parenting?

Parenting a child is a lifelong commitment. Here are some things to think about:

  • Finances – You will need to support your child financially till he or she is able to earn their own keep. Read ‘How much does it cost to raise a baby in the first year?
  • Support System – You should have a community who can support you through your pregnancy and after birth. This could be your family or friends that you can trust and rely on.
  • Personal Emotions – It is okay to have mixed feelings about being a parent. Parenthood opens up new perspectives into your life. Your lifestyle and priorities will change, but you may discover new purposes and motivations that bring great fulfilment. Find someone who can journey with you as you make the transition. More help and tips are available at heybaby.sg.