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Parenthood Benefits in Singapore: Adoption Leave

Parenthood Benefits in Singapore: Adoption Leave

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Parentology

Congratulations on the new addition to your family – adopted children are as much part of your family as are natural or live births, and they deserve just as much love. To support parents who have chosen to adopt, the government has put into place several schemes to ensure that appropriate time can be taken by parents to spend time with their families with limited impact on employers.

For mothers, this is where the Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL) programme comes in. This is a parallel programme to Government-Paid Maternity Leave (which does not cover adoption) and offers similar benefits. If you do not qualify for AL, there is also the Government-Paid Adoption Benefits (GPAB) scheme. All are part of maternity leave in Singapore.

For fathers, leave is covered by the Government-Paid Paternity Programme (GPPL). Although GPML does not cover adoption, GPPL does, and can additionally be supplemented by Shared Parental Leave Singapore (SPL) or the Government-Paid Parental Benefits (GPPB) programme if needed as well.

This article will cover the basics of leave relating to adoptions, including eligibility and benefits, as well as other notes about how the process works in general. Adoption leave in Singapore is generally quite easy to understand, but your own company may have additional corporate schemes you may want to ask about as well.



Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL) and Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)

The general requirements for eligibility under the AL or GPPL programme are quite similar. Parents must have applied to adopt children according to Singaporean law, and the child must be under 12 months (1 year) of age on the Formal Intent to Adopt (FIA) form date – that is, they are still an infant at the time of adoption.

Your child must be either a Singaporean Citizen or, if they are not, either you or the spouse you are adopting with should be a Singaporean Citizen to qualify for either AL or GPPL. For foreign children, a Dependent’s Pass should have been issued by the Ministry of Social and Family Development as well.

You should have been working for your employer (or if you are self-employed, in the same profession or line of work) for at least three continuous months as well.


Government-Paid Adoption Benefits (GPAB)

As mentioned, the GPAB programme is specifically for mothers who do not qualify for the AL programme. In this case, the FIA must be dated on or after 1 January 2021, your child must be under 12 months, either the child or one of the parents must be a Singaporean Citizen (as above), and you have been employed or self-employed for at least 90 days (about 3 months) in the 12 months before the adoption date listed on the FIA.



Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL)

Up to 12 weeks (8 weeks + 4 weeks) of adoption leave is provided for new adoptive mothers. It starts no earlier than the date listed on the FIA form (although it can be later with an agreement between employer and employee), and the first eight weeks must be taken in one continuous period.

A second four-week period may be taken within 12 months from the child’s date of birth (not the FIA date) as well, either in one period or non-continuously with approval from your employer.

In turn, the government will reimburse your employer for your leave at the following rate:

1st and 2nd children

–       Your employer will pay for the first 4 weeks of your AL at your gross rate of pay.

–       The government will reimburse the last 8 weeks of your AL up to $10,000 for 4 weeks or $20,000 per child.

3rd and subsequent children

–       The government will reimburse all 12 weeks of AL at $10,000 for every 4 weeks or up to $30,000 per child.

This amount is pro-rated based on the mother’s salary.


Government-Paid Adoption Benefits (GPAB)

The leave benefits of GPAB are the same as that of AL, but the cash reimbursements are slightly different. For GPAB, the government will reimburse your employer for your leave at the following rate:

1st and 2nd children

–       The government will reimburse up to 56 days of your income. This is capped at $10,000 for 28 days.
3rd and subsequent children

–       The government will reimburse up to 84 days of your income. This is capped at $10,000 for 28 days.

This amount is also pro-rated based on the mother’s salary.


Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)

Adoption leave for fathers in Singapore or adoption leave for male employees is covered under GPPL, which allows fathers to take 2 weeks of leave – either continuously or non-continuously – starting no earlier than the FIA date and ending no later than 12 months from the FIA date. The government will reimburse your employer $2,500 for every 7 days of leave. Like the two above, this amount is pro-rated as well based on the father’s salary.

As noted before, GPPL can be supplemented with SPL and GPPB if desired. Our article on GPPL can be found here, and our article on SPL can be found here.


How do the payments work?

For AL and GPPL, your employer should be paying you as per usual. You will not be interacting with the government at all here unless you are self-employed.

In turn, once the leave has been completed, your employer will file for claims submission on the online Government-Paid Leave (GPL) Portal. If approved, your employer will then liaise with government representatives regarding compensation.

GPAB is processed a little differently and is outlined below.


Application, Claims, and Reimbursement

Adoption Leave for Mothers (AL)

Once your arrangements have been made, you will need to fill out the AL1 form and submit it to your employer alongside any relevant documentation. You should do this at least one week before your AL starts, and also fill out any additional relevant paperwork internally within your company in addition to the form.

Once your leave has been completed, as above, your employer will then submit a claim on the GPL portal within 3 months from the last date of your AL. It will take around 14 weeks to process the application.

For the self-employed, you will be filling out the form on the GPL portal yourself. Simply note down the dates of your leave.


Government-Paid Adoption Benefits (GPAB)

You will be submitting your claim directly to the portal here. An officer will follow up regarding your specific case and also about your maternity leave claim and potential reimbursements. There is no specific maternity benefit form to be submitted before the leave period, and no need to apply for maternity leave benefits.


Government-Paid Paternity Leave (GPPL)

The process for GPPL is as above, except fathers should be filling out the GPPL1 form instead.

You may be interested to check out more relating to leaves and entitlements for parents here Leaves and Entitlements.

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