we don’t have children after 11 years of marriage We thought about adopting an orphan but due to the family and society considerations for ourselves and for the child himself we are afraid that rather then achieving a mental peace and happiness it may lead to even worse situation of people sympathizing with us and discriminating with the child himself and hence putting us all through the worse torture then not having children in the first place.
so the sister of my wife has decided to give her next unborn child and we intend to raise that child as our own off course without giving him/her our name –but we intend to hide from family and friends , child is not our own until he she grows up so that we are not the target of undue finger pointing and gossiping from the family in particular and friend / society in general.
This we hope would also safeguard the child from being discriminated in the society as someone not our own.
Is there any concession in religion for such an arrangement if not can we adopt/sponsor a new born orphan child– who needs us as much as we need him/her, without divulging that child is not our own until he she is grown up again to avoid discriminating attitude towards us and the child .
To give a child his respective father’s and mothers name, to take him in your care and grant him an upbringing as if he is ones own, with his parent’s permission, is a permissible act. It is, however, fairly difficult to keep the nature of the child a secret from family and friends, as all documents and papers would carry the name of his actual father and not yours. If at any time he is publicly called upon to accept a certificate etc, then he will be called upon by the name recorded in these documents. This will result in various problems in the rulings of Nikah, inheritance etc. Therefore, it is best that the facts of the child are not kept hidden from family and friends.
To adopt a child from an orphanage, grant him an upbringing, without giving him your name, is correct according to the Shari’ah. However, we would advise you not to do so due the society in which we live today. Sometimes the results are quite disastrous, as proven from experiences. You should help an orphan while he is living at the orphanage by fulfilling his necessities, grant him education, visit him often and invite home at times.
You are in a better position to judge the condition of the society in which you live.
And Allah Ta’ala knows best
Mufti Muhammad Ashraf
18 May 2005
09 Rabee’uth Thaani 1426