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When to attend court for an adoption hearing

You may have to attend at least 2 hearings before a judge:

 

When it is scheduled

Purpose of hearing

First hearing

After you have submitted your application.

For the court to decide on the:

  • Appointment of the Guardian In Adoption (GIA).
  • (If applicable) Dispensation of consent.
  • (If applicable) Service of documents.

Final hearing

Within 3 weeks after you submit the Guardian In Adoption's (GIA) affidavit and request for a further hearing.

For the court to decide the outcome of your application for an adoption order.

Attendance is compulsory

The Family Courts will inform you of the date, time and venue of your hearing through post, email or eLitigation.

You or your lawyer (if any) must be present. If neither you nor your lawyer attends, your application may be struck off. This means it will no longer be heard by the court. It may be rescheduled for a hearing only if you provide a valid reason for your absence.

If you wish to change the court date, you have to file a Request for Re-Fixing/Vacation of Hearing Dates via eLitigation at least 3 days before the scheduled hearing date.

If the court grants your request, a new date will be arranged. Otherwise, you are required to attend the court session as scheduled.

Before going to court: what to prepare

You should bring the hard copies of all the documents you have submitted to the court for your application.

Arriving in court for your hearing

Note

Some court sessions may be conducted virtually. The court will inform you if you do not need to attend court in person. Find out more about virtual court sessions.

If you are asked to attend court physically, you should:

  • Arrive early and find your way to the venue.
  • Confirm your case is heard in the venue you are about to enter. Inform the court officer before entering, if applicable.
  • Dress neatly and decently when attending court.
  • Speak and conduct yourself in a courteous manner.

At your hearing

What happens during the hearing depends on which hearing you are attending:

At the first hearing

The court will decide on one or more of the following matters:

  • Appointment of the GIA.
  • (If applicable) Dispensation of consent.
  • (If applicable) Service of documents.

At the second or final hearing

The court will hear your adoption application. During the hearing, the judge may:

  • Interview you regarding issues raised by the GIA's investigations.
  • Clarify the GIA's finding.
  • Direct the case for further investigations.

The judge may decide whether to approve or dismiss your application, or adjourn the case for further information.

Note: You do not need to bring the child to the hearing unless the court has informed you in advance to do so.

Possible outcomes

If the court approves your application, the judge will grant an adoption order. You will need to do the following:

Extract the adoption order and schedule

You will need to extract the adoption order and schedule through eLitigation. This means requesting an official copy of the documents. The adoption order and schedule will be generated by eLitigation.

If you are not represented by a lawyer, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau and request to extract the order and schedule. The estimated fee is $50, excluding additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

The order will be issued according to one of the following forms, depending on your case:

If the adopted child was born in Singapore

Form 42 of the FJC Practice Directions.

 

If the adopted child was born outside Singapore

Form 43 of the FJC Practice Directions.

 

Note: You must check that the particulars in the adoption schedule are correct. If the natural parent's particulars do not appear in the child's birth certificate, please remove the information from the schedule before extracting the adoption order.

Collect the child's new birth certificate from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

After the court has issued the adoption order, the court will send the information regarding the order to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA). The ICA will inform you to collect the new birth certificate for your adopted child when it is ready.

Contact the ICA for enquiries regarding the child's new birth certificate.

If the court does not approve your application, you will have to return the child to his or her family at your own cost. Where necessary, the MSF may advise you on the welfare and care arrangements for the child.

If you are not satisfied: appeal

If you are not satisfied with the court's decision, you may appeal to the Family Division of the High Court by filing a Notice of Appeal.

You need to file and serve the notice within 14 days after the date the order was made.

You must also provide security for the other party’s costs of the appeal. This will cost $3,000. Find out more about appeals.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Related questions

An interim adoption order is temporary and may last for up to 2 years. This is usually for cases where the court has concerns that need to be addressed through long term counselling or observation before a final order is made.

If the court grants you an interim adoption order, you will be given custody of the child before the court makes a final decision.

You will need to extract the interim order through eLitigation. If you are not represented by a lawyer, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau and request to extract the order. The interim order will be issued according to Form 41 of the Family Justice Courts Practice Directions.

Only errors of a typographical or clerical nature can be rectified after an adoption order is made and extracted.

To amend such errors in the adoption order or adoption schedule, you must file a summons supported by affidavit through eLitigation. If you are not represented by a lawyer, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file.

The summons will be scheduled for a hearing before a judge.

Go to Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step guide

2021/07/23

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