We Are Childless.. Can We Adopt a Child?

Answered according to Maliki Fiqh by BinBayyah.net

I live in France, and I am married to a French Muslim. She could not get pregnant, and we are thinking of adoption as a way to relieve our longing for having a baby. French laws prohibit bringing children from abroad for this purpose. So, is it permissible for us to adopt a kid here and give him our family name while our family and the child himself know that he is not our kin?


All praise is due to Allah, and peace and prayer be upon the Messenger of Allah.

We really sympathize with the questioner, but we would like to inform him that adoption is expressly prohibited in the Glorious Qur’an. Allah, Exalted be He, says, {Call them (i.e., adoptees) by (the names of) their fathers. That is more just in the Sight of Allah} [Al-Ahzab: 5]. He also says, {Nor has He made your adoptees your own children. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allah says the truth, and only He guides to the (Right) Way} [Al-Ahzab: 4].

Adoption was a practice of Jahiliyyah (i.e., pre-Islamic periods of ignorance), and it has been invalidated by Islam. Child adoption leads to confusion of lineage and many consequent problems. It establishes a relation of kinship that cannot be established except by the Lawgiver (i.e., Allah), Who has specified forms and purposes of kinship and affinity. Accordingly, I advise the questioner and his wife to submit themselves to the indisputable Commands of Allah. In fact, Islam means submission to the Lord. Allah says, {When his Lord said to him, “Submit (i.e. be a Muslim)!” He said, “I have submitted myself (as a Muslim) to the Lord of the worlds”} [Al-Baqarah: 131].

It is important to note that fostering can be a better solution if relevant Shar`i guidelines are observed. A foster parent can bequeath a portion of his property to the fosterling and should treat him kindly and bring him up properly, as a foster, not biological, child. I think this may well be sufficient for the questioner instead of adoption, which is unquestionably prohibited by Shari`ah. And Allah knows best.