Has the Husband of a Woman Who Nursed Another’s Baby an Emotional Link With This Baby?

Answered by Shaykh Shuaib Ally

Question: Assalam alaykum,

Has the husband of a woman who nursed another’s baby an emotional link with this baby?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Legal scholarship generally concerned itself with issues that were legally regulated. In the case of having another woman nurse one’s child, legal ramifications involved rendering previously possible marriages impermissible. The child, that is, would be considered a son/daughter to the woman who nursed him/her, and likewise to this woman’s husband. This status, however, is only meant to affect marriage and related issues allowing being alone with and looking at them; it does not involve any other obligations such as that of upkeep or inheritance.

Emotional attachment isn’t likewise legally regulated, even for one’s actual children. However, one of the consequences of nursing a child is often emotional attachment, as children tend to develop an emotional attachment to the woman who nursed them. The permissibility of being alone with or looking at one’s nurse mother, for example, could also naturally be expected to lead to that. One could foresee a similar attachment developing among the rest of the family, such as the husband. This, however, is not always the case. It remains a matter better governed by personal and family circumstances, and interacting appropriately and kindly with those one has this type of family attachment to.

Shuaib Ally