Singapore has barred British nationals from adopting children in the republic.
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 Britain’s decision in January to drop Singapore from a list of countries where it recognises adoptions automatically.
A British High Commission spokesman said that Singapore was removed from the list as it had 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 did not mean that Britain would 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 Social and Family Development Ministry (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. If the British authorities do not approve the application, the adopted child may not be able to return with them to live in Britain, explained the MSF spokesman. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network