by Raymond Mah & Liow Pei Xia The word “adoption” comes from the old French word “adoptare”, meaning “to choose for oneself.” Today, adoption refers to the act of legally taking another person’s child into your family to raise as your own. Adoptive parents may decide to adopt for many different reasons: some adopt due to infertility, some…

The Malaysian Adoption Act 1952 does not address the citizenship of adopted children. As a result, the nationality of adopted children in Malaysia has been determined arbitrarily by the National Registration Department (NRD) in the exercise of its administrative function of registering orders granted by the Malaysian courts. By refusing citizenship to many adopted children, the NRD has forced aggrieved parents to subsequently apply to the Minister of Home Affairs for citizenship for their adopted children, which decision is discretionary and beyond judicial review.

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