Maltese Citizenship By Adoption 

One mode of acquiring Maltese citizenship is through adoption. This mode of acquisition of citizenship has undergone a number of significant amendments. Before 1st January 1977 an adopted person acquired Maltese citizenship automatically provided he was adopted by Maltese citizens. Following the 1977 amendments to the Maltese Citizenship Act, the option to acquire Maltese citizenship in this way was removed from Maltese law.

This situation changed by virtue of the 1989 amendments. Thus, as from the 1st January, 1989, a child who is adopted by Maltese citizens acquires Maltese citizenship automatically. This provided that the adopted child was less than ten years of age at the date of the adoption

In fact Article 17(2)(a) states that: an adoption of any person made on or after the 1st August, 1989, who on the effective date of his adoption was ten years or over, shall be without effect and shall be treated as if it had not been made.

The situation today is regulated by the provisions of Article 17 of the Maltese Citizenship Act. Maltese citizenship is automatically acquired by adoption, provided that the person adopted is under the age of ten years on the date of adoption and provided also that one of the adopting parents is a citizen of Malta. If a person is over the age of ten years on the date of adoption, such person shall not acquire Maltese citizenship automatically, but will have to acquire citizenship through naturalisation under the provisions of the Maltese Citizenship Act.


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