Adopting from Malaysia
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
During the late 18th and 19th centuries, Great Britain established colonies and protectorates in the area of current Malaysia; these were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945. In 1948, the British-ruled territories on the Malay Peninsula except Singapore formed the Federation of Malaya, which became independent in 1957. To learn more please read About Malaysia.
Hague Convention Information
Malaysia is not party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoptions of children from non-Hague countries are processed in accordance with 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 204.3 as it relates to orphans as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 101(b)(1)(F). To learn more please read about Malaysia and the Hague Convention.
Who Can Adopt
Who Can Be Adopted
In addition to U.S. immigration requirements, Malaysia has specific requirements that a child must meet in order to be eligible for adoption. To learn more please read about Who Can Be Adopted from Malaysia.
How to Adopt
Malaysian Adoption Authority
Family and Children’s Division, Social Welfare Department, Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development
The process for adopting a child from Malaysia generally includes the following steps:
- Choose an adoption service provider
- Apply to be found eligible to adopt
- Be matched with a child
- Adopt [or gain custody of] the child in Malaysia
- Apply for the child to be found eligible for orphan status
- Bring your child home
To learn more about this process please read about How to Adopt from Malaysia.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Maylaysia. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. To learn more please read about Traveling Abroad in Malaysia.
After the adoption is finalized, adoptive parents have legal custody of the child and are not subject to any other restrictions or investigations related to the adoption process. Parents must remember to obtain the child’s amended birth certificate from the National Registration Department.
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian Adoption Authority:
Family and Children’s Division Social Welfare Department Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development 21-23rd Floor, Menara Tun Ismail Mohd Ali Jalan Raja Laut 50562 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tel: (60)(3) 2616-5802 – General Line; (60)(3) 2616-5865 – Adoption Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Registration Department
Ministry of Home Affairs Lot 2G5, Precinct 2 Federal Government Administrative Centre 62100 Federal Territory of Putrajaya Tel: (60)(3) 8880-7000 Fax: (60)(3) 8880-7059 Internet: National Registration Department
Embassy of Malaysia
Office of Children's Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures: National Customer Service Center (NCSC) Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833) Internet: USCIS