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Singapore, World

Theresa Tan
Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

Singapore, World

Britons no longer allowed to adopt kids in Singapore

The Straits Times | Theresa Tan | Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014

Singapore was removed from Britain’s list of countries as the Republic has not signed the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. There is concern that if an adoption is not approved in Britain, the child may get stranded here.

Singapore has barred British nationals from adopting children here.

This is believed to be the first time citizens from any particular country are not allowed to adopt in Singapore.

The move is a response to the United Kingdom's decision in January to drop Singapore from a list of countries where it recognises adoptions automatically.

A British High Commission spokesman told The Sunday Times that Singapore was removed from the list as it has not signed the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.

This is an international treaty to ensure that inter-country adoptions are made in the child's best interests. It also seeks to prevent the abduction, sale and trafficking of children.

Last year, Britain revised the list of countries where it recognises adoptions automatically to include only countries, like itself, that have implemented the convention.

The spokesman added that not recognising adoptions automatically does not mean that Britain will object to the adoption of children by British citizens in Singapore. But a child adopted here would no longer be automatically eligible for British citizenship.

As a result of Britain's decision, the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) has decided to bar British citizens from adopting children here.

An MSF spokesman explained that since Britain no longer recognises Singapore adoptions automatically, British citizens will now have to seek entry clearance from the British authorities to take their adopted child back to Britain.

They will also have to apply to the British Courts to recognise their adopted child as their child, even though Singapore has already done so.

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