Assalamwalaikum Allhumdulliah Allah has blessed me with children of my own. However I and my wife would like to adopt a child as they are so many orphaned Muslim children in the world. My question is that if a adopt a child under 2 so that it can breastfeed by my wife will he/she be mehram to my family and what about the laws of inheritance when it comes to the adopted child? Are there any other Islamic factors that we need to consider before taking things further? JazakAllah
It is very pleasing to see your desire to provide a “family” to an orphan. This is greatly rewarding and is a sunnah of Nabi (sallalahu Alaihi wasallam). May Allah create this desire in all Muslims.
The easiest way to get around the complication of Purdah would be for your wife to breastfeed the child before he/she turns two. Thus he/she would be a mahram to you and your wife, as well as your other children.
An adopted child does not inherit, however you could make a bequest of up to one third of your estate in his/her favour.
It should be remembered that it is not permissible to change the lineage of the child. He/she has to keep their fathers name (or surname).
As soon as the child reaches an age of understanding, and is able to comprehend and accept the reality of the situation, he/she should be tactfully informed of the adoption. This could differ from age to age. Some children may be able to accept it at an early stage, while with others, one may have to wait a bit longer. The longer one waits, the more difficult it could become. One will have to use one’s discretion in a sensitive matter such as this.
and Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai