Is it permissible to adopt a child in Islam?

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Question:

Do the rules of purdah apply when one has adopted a child? Also, is inheritance and other issues the same as with a biological child?

 


 

Answer:

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

 

It is permissible to adopt a child according to Shari’ah[1].  The following points should be taken into consideration.

  • The child should not take up the name of the parents who have adopted him. His lineage should be separate and not joined with the parents. He should keep the name of his biological father if the biological father is known[2].

 

Says Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala in the Quran:

ادْعُوهُمْ لِآَبَائِهِمْ هُوَ أَقْسَطُ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَعْلَمُوا آَبَاءَهُمْ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَمَوَالِيكُمْ…الاية

 Call them(adopted children) by (the name of) their (real) fathers; It is more equitable in the sight of Allah.  And if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in faith and your friends. (Al-Ahzaab)

  • Strict observance of hijab should be done when the child reaches the age of puberty. The pardah is between the mother and the child if it is a boy and between the father and child if it is a girl. The method to avoid this is to adopt the child in infancy and the mother breastfeeds the child. In doing so, they will become the foster parents and pardah will not be necessary. Nevertheless, breastfeeding will still not make him a real son and his lineage will still be separate.[3]
  • The adopted child will not inherit from the adoptive parents. The adoptive parents are allowed to bequeath one-third of their wealth to the adopted child in their will if they wish to do so.[4]

 

The child may be adopted from any ethnicity group. When the child is old enough to understand, he should be informed with wisdom about the reality of the issue. Special care should be taken in ensuring that the foster parents do not cause any emotional harm to the adopted child when addressing such sensitive matters.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 

 

[1] كفايت المفتي ج5 ص276- دار الاشاعت

[2] كفايت المفتي ج٥ص٢٧٦

[3]كفایت المفتی ج٥ ص٢٧٧

[4] كفايت المفتي ج٥ص٢٧٨-٢٧٩

شرح معاني الآثار (6/ 115)

لا دليل لكم في هذه الآية ، على ما ذهبتم إليه من هذا ؛ لأن الناس كانوا يتوارثون بالتبني ، كما تبنى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ، زيد بن حارثة ، فكان زيد بن محمد وكان من فعل هذا ورث المتبني ماله ، دون سائر أرحامه ، وكان الناس يتعاقدون في الجاهلية على أن الرجل يرث الرجل ، فأنزل الله عز وجل { وأولوا الأرحام بعضهم أولى ببعض في كتاب الله } دفعا لذلك ، وردا للمواريث إلى ذوي الأرحام ، وقال : { ادعوهم لآبائهم هو أقسط عند الله } .

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