Forum: Key focus of adoption should always be child's welfare

Under the new rules on adopting children, only a man and a woman married to each other can apply together to adopt a child (New law tightens eligibility criteria for adoption, May 10).

Minister for Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli said this is to ensure adoptions are in line with Singapore's public policy and "the key focus of adoption is the children's welfare".

But do such rules guarantee the welfare of a child?

What if a child were suddenly orphaned, and the only relative that the child is close to happens to be single, divorced or widowed?

Even if this relative could be appointed as a legal guardian - in which case the courts would have determined the relative to be capable and worthy of providing for the child - would it truly be in the child's interest to be denied of having the relative as his parent, even if that is what the child wants?

Mr Masagos reiterated that as a matter of public policy, the Government does not encourage planned and deliberate single parenthood as a lifestyle choice.

Is there any evidence to believe that, given the right kind of support and resources, single parents or alternative family units cannot adequately provide for a child's welfare?

If there is not, the key focus of adoption should still be, as stated, the child's welfare.

Leslie Lee

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