MEPs call for better post-adoption checks and regulation of agencies

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SINGAPORE – When Mr. Christopher de Souza’s adopted daughter was young, he and his wife would tell her that she “came from her mama’s womb”, but she was born in their hearts.

Some fear that the child will be harmed by such a disclosure, but after thinking about it for a long time, he said that it is better to tell a child that he is adopted as soon as possible.

Speaking in parliament on Monday May 9, Mr de Souza said adoption could be explained to children in a positive and positive way.

Mr de Souza (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC) was one of 14 MPs who spoke during the debate on proposed changes to adoption laws.

The new rules include measures to better protect adopted children and equip adoptive couples with parenting skills, such as a mandatory disclosure information session to learn how to tell children about their adoption at the right time.

During the debate, MEPs also spoke of the need to regulate adoption agencies and carry out adequate post-adoption checks to ensure the safety of adopted children.

Ms. Ng Ling Ling (Ang Mo Kio GRC) cited studies which have shown that adopted children are at a higher risk of developing behavioral and emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression, some of which persist into old age. adult.

She said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) could provide support services for adopted children up to the age of 21.

Several MEPs called for regulation of the adoption industry, including compulsory accreditation of adoption agencies, for example through a published register of accredited agencies, to standardize them and determine their suitability for function.

Mr. Dennis Tan (Hougang) urged the government to take steps to ensure that the proposed changes do not lead to increased adoption costs and expenses.

Adoptive father, Mr. Tan said he had benefited from information sessions on disclosure in the early stages of adoption.

Responding to calls to step up assistance to prospective adopters, Minister of Social and Family Development Masagos Zulkifli said such assistance measures would include licensed adoption agencies.

To bolster support for adoptive families, Mr Masagos said, measures such as the pre-adoption briefing, which is mandatory under the new rules, would give parents an idea of ​​what they can expect in the process. .

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