Is Adoption Haram In Islam?

Adoption is a topic of great importance in Islamic culture, where the care and support of orphaned children are encouraged. However, specific rules and regulations surrounding adoption based on Islamic Sharia exist.

While adoption is permissible, certain factors determine whether adoption is haram or forbidden.

Islam categorizes adoption into forbidden and permissible types. Adoptive parents are not allowed to alter the child’s family name, and the child is not considered the legal heir of the adoptive parents. We will discuss some of the main Shariah aspects of adoption in Islam.

4 Islamic Shariah Aspects Need to Maintain After Adoption

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Some key Shariah aspects govern the practice of adoption in Islam, providing a framework rooted in Quranic verses and Hadiths.

  • Prohibition of changing lineage
  • Breastfeeding impact on fosterage
  • Relationship between fostering and hijab
  • Inheritance and bequest
Is Adoption Haram In Islam

1. Prohibition of Changing Lineage

Changing the lineage of adopted children is strictly prohibited in Islam. This principle is rooted in the Quranic verse from Surah Al-Ahzab (33:4), which explicitly states that adopted children shouldn’t be treated as biological offspring.

This prohibition is exemplified by the actions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), who referred to Zaid bin Haritha by his biological father’s name after adopting him.

2. Breastfeeding Impact on Fosterage

Breastfeeding Impact on Fosterage

According to Islamic law, if the adoptive mother breastfeeds the child directly before the age of two, a Mahramiyyat or familial relationship is established. This means that the child will be treated as if they were the real child of the adoptive mother without maintaining Nikah and Hijab rules.

In other words, the child can’t marry the foster parent or any of the foster parent’s children. This concept of breastfeeding creating a familial bond is rooted in the belief that breastfeeding creates a special connection between the child and the woman breastfeeding them.

It’s seen as a way to establish the rights and responsibilities of a mother-child relationship, even if there’s no biological connection.

3. Relationship Between Fostering and Hijab

Without the element of breastfeeding, the normal rules of Nikah (marriage) and Hijab apply between the adopted child and the adoptive family. This means that the child, even if raised in the adoptive household, isn’t considered a mahram and is subject to the usual rules of modesty and marriage.

The underlying principle behind this is to maintain legal and social distinctions between the adoptive family and the adopted child, following Quranic injunctions on family relationships.

4. Inheritance and Bequest

Inheritance and Bequest

In Islam, adoption doesn’t automatically grant inheritance rights to the adopted child. Instead, the allocation of inheritance must be specified through a will. However, adoptive parents have the discretion to allocate up to one-third of their estate to their adopted child.

This provision ensures that the real parents retain their rightful inheritance, even if adoptive parents raise the child. It highlights the significance of legal and financial planning to ensure a fair distribution of wealth and assets.

Maintain Islamic Principles in Adoption

It is now clear that whether adoption is haram or permissible in Islam hinges on adherence to specific Shariah principles. It’s a comprehensive framework considering lineage, breastfeeding, fostering, hijab, inheritance, and bequests.

Adoptive parents must adhere to these guidelines, maintaining legal and familial distinctions. Emphasizing the importance of Quranic verses and Hadiths, Islam encourages the care of orphaned children while ensuring transparency and respect for blood relationships.

In navigating these aspects, one can adopt a child in a manner aligned with Islamic principles and values.

Omar Abdullah

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