Family Justice Courts Practice Directions

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Part VIII - Adoption of Children

27. Commencement Documents

Filing of commencement documents

(1) Solicitors are requested to file all applications for adoption orders in the Family Justice Courts.

(2) All applications for adoption orders filed on or after 1 January 2006 shall be made by originating summons in the prescribed format in Form 37 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(3) The applicants shall file the following documents, together with the originating summons:

(a) the Statement in Form 38 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions, through the Electronic Filing Service by entering the relevant information in the appropriate electronic template (for which purpose the applicants must ensure that the particulars contained in the infant’s birth certificate correspond with those in the Statement, in particular, paragraph 8(c) of the Statement);

(b) an affidavit in support of the originating summons; and

(c) the consent in the prescribed form of every person or body who is a parent or guardian of the infant, or who has actual custody of the infant, or is liable to contribute to the support of the infant (which consent is to be filed separately from the affidavit in support of the originating summons).

Contents of the affidavit in support of the originating summons

(4) The affidavit in support of the originating summons must —

(a) contain the following information (where applicable):

(i) an averment by the applicant(s) as to the truth of the contents of the Statement;

(ii) the grounds in support of the prayer to dispense with the consent and / or service of documents on the natural parent(s) and / or grandparent(s) (if any) of the infant; and

(b) exhibit the following documents:

(i) a clear copy each of —

(A) the birth certificate or other means of identification of the infant;

(B) the identity card or other means of identification of the applicant(s);

(C) the marriage certificate of the applicants;

(D) the consents of all relevant persons, where applicable; and

(E) all other documents for proving the averments in the originating summons and Statement;

(ii) where the applicants are not Singapore citizens — valid documentary proof of their residency status in Singapore (e.g. Employment Pass; Work Permit; Dependant’s Pass; or any other evidence of permanent residency status);

(iii) where the infant to be adopted is not a Singapore citizen — valid documentary proof of the infant’s residency status in Singapore (e.g. Dependant’s Pass or any other evidence of permanent residency status); and

(iv) where the infant to be adopted was procured through an adoption agency —

(A) a declaration by the applicants as to the fees and expenses paid to the adoption agency;

(B) a detailed breakdown of the fees and expenses paid; and

(C) documentary evidence of the said fees and expenses.

28. Amendment of Originating Summons and Statement

(1) Where the Court makes an order granting the applicants leave to amend the originating summons, and where the amendments relate to the particulars of the applicants and / or infant or any information which also appear in the Statement, the applicants shall within 7 working days amend the Statement by amending the information in the appropriate electronic template. The applicant(s) shall also file an affidavit averring to the truth of the contents of the amended statement. The amended originating summons, Statement and the affidavit in support shall be served on the guardian in adoption.

(2) Where the Court makes an order granting the applicants leave to amend the Statement, the applicants shall within 7 working days amend the Statement by amending the information in the appropriate electronic template. The applicant(s) shall also file an affidavit averring to the truth of the contents of the amended Statement. The amended Statement and the affidavit in support shall be served on the guardian in adoption.

(1) To ensure that adoption hearings are conducted more expeditiously, the applicants shall generally not be required to file separate summonses for orders such as dispensation of service of documents, dispensation of consent of the natural parents or guardian, etc. Such prayers are to be set out in the originating summons and shall be listed for hearing together with Prayer 1 (the prayer to appoint a guardian in adoption) of the said originating summons.

(2) Paragraph 79 of these Practice Directions shall apply to prayers for substituted service or dispensation of service of documents on a person whose consent is required, save for the case where the person whose consent is required consents to the summons for substituted service or dispensation of service.

(3) Before the Court dispenses with the consent of a person whose consent is required under section 4 of the Adoption of Children Act (Cap. 4) (hereafter referred to as “the person whose consent is required”), on the basis that the person cannot be found, the applicants shall make recent attempts to locate the person whose consent is required by contacting the person’s relatives, friends and employer(s) (if any), in order to discover the person’s whereabouts. The affidavit in support of the originating summons must also include the matters set out in Paragraph 79(5)(a) to (e) of these Practice Directions.

(4) Where the natural parent(s) of the infant is / are below 21 years of age, the written consent of his / her parents or guardians (“the natural grandparents”) as adapted from the prescribed format in Form 39 of Appendix A to these Practice Directions is required. Where the applicants are unable to obtain the said consent(s), they shall apply to dispense with the consent of the natural grandparent(s) of the infant, and aver in an affidavit why the natural parents’ / grandparents’ consent(s) ought to be dispensed with and the recent efforts made to obtain the said consent(s).

(5) Where the particulars of the natural father of the infant are not stated on the infant’s birth certificate, the natural mother of the infant shall file an affidavit stating whether she is aware of the identity of the natural father and if so, to give brief reasons as to why his identity was not disclosed in the infant’s birth certificate. If the natural mother is unaware of the natural father’s identity, she shall aver in her affidavit why this is so.

(6) It shall not be necessary to apply for the dispensation of consent of the natural parent(s) of the infant and for the dispensation of service of documents on the natural parent(s) if the identity of the natural parent(s) is unknown.

30. Submission of supporting documents

(1) The original birth certificate and the original translation of the birth certificate (if any) of the infant shall be submitted to the Adoption Counter of the Family Registry at least 7 working days prior to the hearing of the prayer for the appointment of the guardian in adoption accompanied with a cover letter in the prescribed format in Form 210 in Appendix A to these Practice Directions.

(2) The written consent of the guardian in adoption to be appointed as the guardian in adoption shall be filed at least 7 working days prior to the hearing of the prayer for the appointment of the guardian in adoption.

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