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Laws on child marriage, adoption to be reviewed — Fatimah
Tarikh : 09 Aug 2018  Sumber Berita: The Borneo Post Online

KUCHING: The laws on marriages particularly involving children and adoption need to be reviewed and amended in accordance with the current social trend.

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Woman, Family and Childhood Development Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said this matter was discussed at last year’s workshop to set up the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Child Adoption Guidelines in Sarawak and also at yesterday’s roundtable discussion on minimum marriage age and child adoption in conjunction with the 13th International Conference on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology (ICCAP) at a leading hotel here.

Among the issues discussed at the roundtable were to increase minimum marriage age from 18 to 21 and child
adoption certification without parents’ identification which is produced in Sarawak to follow the Adoption Act and Ordinance as practised in Sabah and West Malaysia.

She said the State Legislative Assembly is to make rules to regulate the adoption of children according to Chinese custom by heads of Chinese families for the purpose of providing heirs or successors for the deceased members of such families.

“And another one is, the State Legislative Assembly may make rules to regulate the adoption of adults among races in which such adoptions are recognised by custom,” said Fatimah.

She added that the brainstorming, analysing, evaluating input and feedback on the feasibility of getting the relevant statute amended at the roundtable would be shared by stakeholders and community leaders who were present.

“The roundtable discussion today (yesterday) will be the basis for the ministry to evaluate the proposals to increase the age limit for children that can be adopted from 18 years of age as per the Adoption Ordinance (Chapter 91) to 21 years of age; to establish the laws which are required under Section 10 (1); and producing the adoption certificate which is being practised in Sabah and West Malaysia,” she said.

Other than that, she said the roundtable also discussed concurrent issues on the age limit for marriages that has been much talked about these days.

“Through this forum, we have the opportunity to reflect on our laws, operational procedures and existing information with regard to marriages, be it civil, Syariah or custom.

“I believe we must do the research on the scope and marriage jurisdiction especially on the age limit according to all types of marriages in Sarawak, so that it will be relevant with today’s social landscape,” she said.

Among those present at the discussion were Assistant Minister of Community Wellbeing Datuk Francis Harden Hollis, Assistant Minister of Women, Family and Childhood Development Rosey Yunus, Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang, Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong and executive secretary of Social Development Council, Dr Zufar Yadi.