Do adoptive parents have Islamic custodial rights to adopted children in the case of divorce? 

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Q. My husband and I adopted two male children a few years ago from the orphanage. I breast fed them before they reached two years of age to establish Mahrem relationship with them. My husband and I are now divorcing due to many issues. Could you please tell me if the Islamic custodial rulings for adopted children are the same as biological children? I’ve been told that the children will be with me until the age of 7 (unless I remarry, in which case I will loose them) and after that they will need to go to my husband, and I will only have visitation privileges with them. Is this valid in the case of adopted children as well? please advise. 

A. The general rights and laws of custody (Haqq-ul-Hadhaanah) does not apply to adopted or fostered children. There are no fixed principles governing the rights of custody of adopted children in the case of divorce between spouses. Therefore, in this regard, the couple should discuss the matter and reach a mutual agreement in the best interest of the children. (Shaami 3/556)

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

This answer was collected from, which is a fatwa portal managed by Mufti Ismaeel Bassa from South Africa.

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