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Does a foster child inherit?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by TheMufti.com

Q. I breastfed my sister’s 6 Months old child from the time my sister passed away till her child was 2 years old. Does my sister’s child inherit from my estate?


A. If a child is breastfed by another woman from childbirth up to 2 years of age, the child becomes a non-stranger (Mahram) to its nursing/foster mother. In this case the child will be similar to the real children in terms of Nikah and Hijab rules, i.e. the child cannot marry the foster parent, neither any of the foster parent’s children and the observance of Hijab between them will not be necessary. However, in terms of inheritance, the child will not inherit from the foster parents or their children. The child will inherit from its biological family i.e. parents, siblings etc.

Hence, in the enquired situation, your sister’s child which you breastfed from the age of 6 Months old up to 2 years old is not entitled to inherit from you. However, you are allowed to make a bequest up to one third of your estate to your sister’s child in your will which will take effect upon your demise.

Allah Ta’ala Knows Best

Mufti Ismaeel Bassa

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

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