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What are the laws concerning a child that is adopted?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by DarulUloomTT.net

Assalaamu Alaikum

My husband and I are interested in adopting an orphaned girl child. 1) We have three children ages less than 7 yrs. old together and will like to know the rights of our children towards this move. 2) Also could you inform us as to what Islam said on adoption and the rights of an orphan? 3) Will her adoptive brothers and father be her mahram? Also any additional information on adoption would be greatly appreciated.

Wa Alaikum Assalaam,

الجواب و بالله التوفيق

Adopting the orphaned girl child is your choice and decision. This is a matter which both of you as husband and wife must decide on. Your children are very young and they do not have any rights towards your intention to adopt the orphan.

Adoption is permissible in Islam, and the Holy Quran has endorsed the adoption of Zaid which was done by the Prophet (SA). However, there are guidelines which one is required to follow in this regard. First of all, an adopted child must not be considered as one’s blood (real) child, it must always be known that the child has been adopted, and that he/she is not blood related to the others within the family. With this, I mean that the child should not be trained to call his adoptive parents as mom and dad, nor should the adoptive parents addressed him as ‘son ‘or ‘daughter’. The usage of these words eventually creates problems and difficulties for all parties. Adoptive parents can be addressed with the words, ‘Uncle, or ‘Aunty’ and the adopted ‘son’ or daughter’ can be called by their respective names.

When the adopted child begins to grow older, you must implement the rules of Hijab/Purda for the opposite sex. This means that if it is an adopted son, then he will not be able to be alone with your grown up daughters, and they must cover their heads/bodies properly in front of him. The mother must also wear her hijab in front of him, since, he is not a mahram to the opposite sex of the family. The same applies to the father and grown up sons in the case of an adopted daughter.

It must also be known that an adopted child will not inherit from the adoptive parents. If they (adoptive parents) wish, they can give him/her gifts while they are alive, and can also leave a will to the limit of 1/3 (of the remaining estate) when they die.

The adoptive parents will also not be able to inherit from an adopted son or daughter (in case of their death). However, the adopted children can give gifts to them while they are alive, and can also leave a will to the limit of 1/3 (of the remaining estate).

Adoptive parents should not conceal their true identity to the adopted children. In other words, they must reveal to them that they are not their real parents, and they are only their adoptive parents or guardians. They must also identify the true/real parents of the children and make them known to the children. In the absence of these, we have seen a lot of problems among family members and adopted children.

And Allah Knows Best.

Mufti Waseem Khan.


This answer was collected from DarulUloomTT.net, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Waseem Khan from Darul Uloom Trinidad and Tobago.

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