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Adopting a Child with Unknown Parentage: Is it Allowed in Islam?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Muftionline.co.za

Q: We are Muslims and a childless couple. We adopted a baby girl and we don’t know about her parentage. We want to give her our name and identity and raise her as our own, without telling her that she was adopted. We don’t know who are her parents. Is this allowed?


A: It is not permissible for you and your wife to inform the child that you both are her biological parents. If you conceal this from the child, you both will be sinful. If the child’s biological parents are not known, then you may attribute the child to you and give her your surname. However, she should be informed later on during her life that both of you are her adoptive parents. The laws of adoption will apply to her in regard to inheritance, nikaah, observing purdah with the family etc. Many a times, this information is not disclosed to the child, and later on when the child discovers the truth, it leads to depression, breakdown of confidence, suspicion and a host of problems. Therefore, in following the laws of Shariah, there is great amount of harmony and blessing.

For further details regarding the laws pertaining to adoption, refer to http://muftionline.co.za/node/21360.

And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.

ادعوهم لآبائهم هو أقسط عند الله فإن لم تعلموا آباءهم فإخوانكم في الدين ومواليكم.(سورة الأحزاب : 5)

كذلك كان من مزعوماتهم أن الرجل إذا تبنى ولد غيره صار ملحقا ببنيه وأجريت عليه سائر أحكام البنوة من الميراث والحرمات. وكان هذا تغيير شرائع الله سبحانه وتعالى من عند أنفسهم كما كان دأبهم في أمثالها.(أحكام القرآن للمفتي محمد شفيع رحمه الله 3/290)

المتبنى لا يلحق بالأبناء في الأحكام 
الثاني: إن الدعي والمتبنى لا يلحق في الأحكام بالابن فلا يستحق الميراث ولا يرث عنه المدعي ولا يحرم حليلته بعد الطلاق والعدة على ذلك المدعي ولا عكسه.( أحكام القرآن للمفتي محمد شفيع رحمه الله 3/291)

ولا تحرم حليلة الابن المتبنى على الأب المتبني هكذا في محيط السرخسي.(الفتاوى الهندية 1/274)

ويستحق الإرث بإحدى خصال ثلاث: بالنسب وهو القرابة، والسبب وهو الزوجية، والولاء.( الفتاوى الهندية 6/ 447)

كفايت المفتي 5/295-296

فتاوى دار العلوم زكريا 7/227

محمود الفتاوى 5/623

Answered by:

Mufti Zakaria Makada

Checked & Approved:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)

This answer was collected from MuftiOnline.co.za, where the questions have been answered by Mufti Zakaria Makada (Hafizahullah), who is currently a senior lecturer in the science of Hadith and Fiqh at Madrasah Ta’leemuddeen, Isipingo Beach, South Africa.

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