Who Can Adopt from Malaysia
To adopt a non-Muslim child, the prospective adoptive parent(s) must be "ordinarily resident" in Malaysia, i.e. they must have been working and living in Malaysia prior to the application. The Department of Social Welfare determines who is or is not “ordinarily resident.” Prospective adoptive parents are also required to remain in Malaysia during the adoption process, which may take three months to one year. To adopt a Muslim child, the prospective adoptive parents must have cared for or fostered the child for at least two years prior to the adoption application and therefore should have been living with the child in Malaysia for at least that period of time.
Age of Adopting Parents
When adopting non-Muslim children, one of the adopting parents must be at least 25 years old and at least 21 years older than the child. If the prospective adoptive parent is a relative of the child, he/she must be at least 21 years of age. When adopting Muslim children, one of the prospective adoptive parents must be at least 25 years old and at least 18 years older than the child. If the prospective adoptive parent is a brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the child, he/she must be at least 21 years old.
Prospective adoptive parents must submit their marriage license as part of the adoption application. Single individuals may adopt with some restrictions, e.g. males may not adopt female children. Same-sex couples may not adopt.
There is no minimum income requirement.
In some cases, prospective adoptive parents are subject to home visits from a court-appointed guardian, usually a Social Welfare Officer from the national Social Welfare Department. The court-appointed guardian will investigate the background and circumstances of the prospective adoptive parents to verify their overall suitability, including their ability to care for the child and family stability. In many cases, the Social Welfare Department will exempt the prospective parents from home visits, instead accepting the report prepared by the court-appointed guardian.
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