Couples who marry abroad can still register children's births, says registration department

KUANTAN: Couples who marry abroad and have not formalised their marriage in Malaysia can still register their children's birth following the procedures set by the National Registration Department (NRD).

Pahang NRD director Mohammad Abdullah said parents should not delay the registration. They can appear together at the department to jointly sign the documents under Section 13 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957 (Act 299).

"However, the child must initially be attributed (dinasabkan) to Abdullah or given a name from the Asmaul Husna list. Once the relevant agency verifies the marriage documents, parents can apply for an amendment to reattribute the child to the legitimate father.

"The child's name can also be registered under the mother's information only and attributed to Abdullah or a name from the Asmaul Husna list.

"The parents can later request amendments in the Birth Register, reattributing the child to the biological father once the marriage verification documents are received in full," he told Bernama on Thursday (May 30).

Meanwhile, Mohammad noted that over the five years from 2019, the department recorded 1,948 late registrations, with last year having the highest number at 618 cases.

He explained that Muslim couples who marry abroad have irregular marriage documents when they fail to register their marriage at the Islamic Religious Office upon returning to Malaysia.

In addition to the parents' identification documents, original marriage documents must be submitted to determine citizenship status, lineage, title, religion, and, for Muslim couples, the legitimacy of the child.

He further explained that marriage documents include marriage certificates, customary marriage certificates recognised in Sabah and Sarawak, marriage cards, and letters confirming Orang Asli marriages by the Department of Orang Asli Development or other relevant agencies.

He added that another common reason for late registrations is parents' ignorance of the requirement to do so within 60 days of birth.

To address this issue, the NRD has implemented an Online Pre-Birth Registration System. This system allows parents to register birth information online and provides them with 180 days to visit any NRD office to verify it.

He stated that the process of late birth registration is meticulously carried out according to departmental procedures to avoid any future issues, noting that thus far, the Pahang NRD has even received late registrations from individuals over 70 years old.

He highlighted the importance of birth registration, particularly for planning government development projects.

Furthermore, he said that the absence of birth certificates complicates matters for parents, especially concerning healthcare, education, banking, and welfare assistance. – Bernama

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