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Does Giving an Adopted Child One’s Surname Change Their Lineage?

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I just finished the new course on the urgency of adoption, and I have also read the Seekers answers regarding the change of the adopted child’s name. I understand it is permissible because one is not changing the child’s lineage, but if we gave the child our last name, their child would carry that last name (if it was a boy). Wouldn’t this be a form of changing the lineage because the family name carries on as the adopted parent’s name, then wouldn’t the lineage of the adopted child eventually be lost as generations pass?

Answer

The answers that you mention are these:
Can I Give an Adopted Child My Surname?
Giving an Adopted Child Your Family Name

Shaykh Abdur-Rahim Reasat says in the link above, “Giving an adopted child your surname is not equivalent to changing his lineage–especially if you make it clear to him that he is adopted. Doing so when it will make legal procedures easier makes sense too.”

Shaykh Rami Nsour says in the other link above, “(Giving the family surname) This is permissible as long as the child is raised to know his or her lineage and that the legal last name is merely for registration purposes.”

Simply carrying one’s surname does not change one’s lineage, especially if each generation is subsequently informed that the original inheritor of the name was adopted. If the lineage of the family became lost down the line, it would not be sinful for the person unless he knowingly denied his biological father. I hope this clarifies the issue for you.

I hope this helps.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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