In Islamic law, several rules govern family issues, including adoption or the upbringing of a child. Many people often ask, “Is it Haram to adopt a baby in Islam?” While there’s a misconception that Islam prohibits adoption, the reality is quite nuanced.
Understanding the Concept of Adoption in Islam
In Islam, the act of caring for and nurturing a child who is not biologically yours is greatly encouraged. It is viewed as a noble act done out of compassion and love for the welfare of a child. The Prophetic tradition values and encourages Muslims to look after orphans or those in need.
However, what Islam does discourage is a form of adoption where the adopted child is given the same legal status and rights as a biological offspring. This is to maintain the accurate lineage and avoid potential issues of inheritance and marital restrictions.
The Concept of ‘Kafalah’ in Islamic Law
Islam does not prohibit adoption in its entirety, but it does provide a different framework for it, known as ‘Kafalah.’ Kafalah is an Islamic legal aspect relating to the guardianship of a child. Under this framework, a child may be provided for by an individual or a couple, given a loving home, food, education, and upbringing, similarly to adoption.
However, the child under Kafalah maintains its original family name and does not automatically receive a share in the guardian’s inheritance. Additionally, the laws of mahram (marriageable kin) do not apply as they would with biological children.
Adoption Versus Kafalah – Highlighting the Differences
To understand whether adopting a child is Haram or not, it is essential to distinguish between Western adoption and Islamic Kafalah. Traditional Western adoption often involves changing the child’s surname to that of the adoptive parents, obscuring the child’s biological lineage. Moreover, adopted children are treated as biological children in inheritance matters.
In contrast, Islamic Kafalah respects the child’s original family lineage and does not alter their identity. The child retains his or her biological parents’ surname, and the laws of inheritance and rules of mahram remain unaltered.
So, is it Haram to adopt a baby in Islam? The answer is no, it is not Haram, per se. However, adoption as deemed by conventional norms may contradict some Islamic principles. What Islam proposes instead is a system of Kafalah, where you can foster a child, give them all the love and attention they need, but respect their real lineage, identity, and biological family rights. This unique system clarifies Islamic views on adoption and helps ensure the welfare of the child while preserving their natural rights.
Faqs about “is it haram to adopt a baby”
Is it haram to adopt a baby in Islam?
No, it is not haram to adopt a child in Islam. However, Islam delineates specific rules surrounding adoption, known as ‘kafala’. The child’s family lineage and original identity must be preserved.
What is ‘kafala’ in Islamic adoption?
‘Kafala’ is the Islamic practice of providing for a child who is orphaned, abandoned, or whose parents cannot support them. The guardianship does not change the child’s familial lineage.
Can an adopted child take the family name in Islam?
According to Islamic principles, an adopted child maintains their original family name to preserve their identity and lineage. They do not take on the family name of the adopting parents.
Can an adopted girl wear hijab in front of her adoptive father?
Yes, an adopted girl should wear hijab in front of her adoptive father, as he is not a mahram (a man a woman cannot marry because of kinship).
Is it considered a good deed to adopt a child in Islam?
Yes, helping or supporting a child in need, including through adoption, is considered a benevolent and the highly commendable act in Islam.
Can you choose your child’s lineage if you adopt in Islam?
No, an adopted child is to maintain their lineage as per Islamic guidelines. Changing or choosing a child’s lineage in an adoption is not permitted.
Are adoption and fostering the same in Islam?
The primary difference between adoption and fostering in Islam is that while adoption implies taking care of an orphan under the system of ‘kafala’ where lineage is preserved, fostering involves taking care of a child temporarily.
What rights do adopted children have in Islam?
Adopted children have the same rights as biological children concerning education, upbringing, and adequate care. They do not, however, automatically inherit from their adoptive parents, but parents can leave up to one-third of their wealth to them in their will.
Can a single person adopt a child in Islam?
While it’s more common for a married couple to adopt, there’s no explicit prohibition in Islamic law against single individuals adopting a child. Cultural practices and local laws may vary.
Can a non-Muslim adopt a Muslim child as per Islamic teachings?
Islam encourages the upbringing of a Muslim child to be in an environment that nurtures their faith. While there is no explicit prohibition, it is generally recommended that a Muslim child be adopted by Muslim parents.
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