SingaporeOfficial Name: Republic of Singapore
Embassies and Consulates
27 Napier Road
Telephone: (65) 6476-9100
Emergency Telephone: (65) 6476-9100
Fax: (65) 6476-9340
Singapore and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since May 1, 2012.
For information concerning travel to Singapore, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Singapore.
Hague Abduction Convention
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Singapore. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Singapore Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). The MSF will facilitate locating the child and requesting a voluntary return. When necessary, the MSF will also facilitate the care and protection of the child through a referral to the Child Protection Service (CPS) during the Hague proceedings. The MSF can be reached at:
Rehabilitation, Protection and Residential Services Headquarters, Programme Branch
Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF)
512 Thomson Road 0800 MSF Building
Telephone: (65) 63547645/63547646
Fax : (65) 63541514
Website: Singapore Central Authority
To initiate a Hague case for return of a child in Singapore, the left-behind parent may choose to submit a Hague application to the MSF, either through the USCA or directly. After review by the MSF, the left-behind parent or a privately-retained attorney must file the Hague application with the Singapore Family Court via the Electronic Filing System (EFS) in order to begin the Hague proceedings. The MSF does not forward Hague applications to the Singapore Family Court. A left-behind parent may also elect to file the Hague application directly with the Singapore Family Court, without contacting the USCA or the MSF.
More information on EFS is available at: Singapore Judiciary's Electronic Filiing System
The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the MSF, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or the MSF. If the applicant parent hires an attorney, attorney fees are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Singapore. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Singapore. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
Retaining an Attorney
The MSF does not represent left-behind parents in court or assign an attorney to represent left-behind parents. The role of the MSF is administrative and neutral. Retaining an attorney is not required, as a left-behind parent can file a Hague petition directly with the Singapore Family Court. However, left-behind parents may choose to hire a privately-retained attorney to assist with filing the Hague application in the Singapore Family Court and to provide them with case updates.
The Singapore Legal Aid Bureau provides legal advice and aid to persons of limited means, who meet the requirements of their Means and Merits Test. More information and the application form is available on the Singapore Central Authority's website or on the Legal Aid Bureau's website.
The U.S. Embassy in Singapore posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
Mediation services for custody disputes are available through a non-profit organization, the Singapore Mediation Centre, and the Subordinate Court of Singapore, Family Court, Child Focus Resolution Centre. More detailed information, including any fees, is available at: Singapore Mediation Centre and Family Court.
We strongly discourage taking matters into your own hands. The measures could be illegal and may delay your child’s return. Attempts to re-abduct your child from the United States may:
- Endanger your child and others;
- Prejudice any future judicial efforts you might wish to make in the United States; and
- Could even result in your arrest and imprisonment.
Finally, there is no guarantee that the chain of abductions would end with the one committed by you. A parent who has re-abducted a child may have to go to extraordinary lengths to conceal his or her whereabouts, living in permanent fear that the child may be re-abducted yet again.
If you are contemplating such desperate measures, we advise you to consider the emotional trauma inflicted on a child who is a victim of an abduction and a re-abduction. We discourage re-abduction not only because it is illegal, but also because of possible psychological harm to the child.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.