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.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.
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.
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 State Courts.
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 MediationCentre and State Courts.
While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent. Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:
The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.
To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.
For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney.
Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.
For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.
Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.
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.