Inheritance Of A Surrogate Mother

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta Azaadville


Will a real mother or surrogate mother inherit from the deceased?


In the case of a surrogate mother, a woman who is a stranger is artificially inseminated with a man’s sperm. She then carries and delivers the baby, and it is upon delivery that the baby is handed over to the one whose sperm was used in impregnating her. He then brings up the child together with his Islamically Halaal wife. The surrogate mother in this instance is referred to as a ‘Traditional surrogate.’ 

The child born as a result of such a procedure will be considered as an illegitimate child in terms of Shari’ah and will therefore be attributed to the surrogate mother. The surrogate mother will inherit from the child and the child will inherit from her as well. The sperm donor and his Islamically Halaal wife do not inherit from the child, nor does the child inherit from them. They can be likened to adoptive parents who adopt a child that is unrelated to them.   

This method of conceiving and having children is equated to adultery and therefore impermissible.  

There is also another category of a surrogate mother. This is where the eggs of a wife are extracted and fertilized with her husband’s sperm using the IVF method of fertilization. The eggs are them inserted into a strange woman and she carries the child until delivery. In this case too, the child will be attributed to the surrogate mother as she is the actual one that gave birth to the child. Again, the child will be considered as illegitimate and be attributed to the surrogate mother. The matter of inheritance is only between the surrogate mother and her child, and not between the child and the man whose sperm was used or/and his wife whose eggs were used. The surrogate mother in this instance is referred to a ‘Gestational surrogate.’ 

In conclusion, although the method of conceiving used in both instances is different, the ruling in regards to inheritance remains that same as explained above. Both methods of conceiving are however, impermissible.                    

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

This answer was collected from the official Ifta website of Darul Uloom Azaadville, South Africa. Most of the answers are checked and approved by Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

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