How would adoption work in the United States by an Islamic couple?

Q: How would adoption work in the United States by an Islamic couple? Adoption is a common practice among Judeo-Christian faiths but from my knowledge, Muslims today seem to be cautious to adopt because of the complications it may cause. For example the child is not considered muhrim to the other family members and therefore he/she should not be left alone with family members of the opposite gender. It seems sad that because of these restrictions children don’t have the opportunity to be raised in an Islamic household. Of course foster parenting is always an option but it is generally only a short term solution until they may be placed with an adoptive family. In what instances would you recommend adoption? I realize that the prophet adopted a son, which is one of the reasons it is so appealing to me, however, current adoption systems don’t really favor that style of adoption making it difficult. How could a modern Muslim family make this work practically?

Time: Sunday July 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm

A: It all isn’t so glamorous after all:

The ‘complications’ are not limited to Islam. Islam has created a unique solution revering the integrity of the child. We too admire the western zeal for taking care of infants; however a better method should always be extended. Kindly research the sadness that is witnessed by children that have been adopted in western societies whilst files relating to the adoption process remain sealed to them ‘for their protection. The emotional scare this creates remains devastating – many a times for both, original parent and child.

Definition first, just so you know:

Adoption in the truest sense requires a person to raise the child of another parent whilst changing the child’s last name to that of the ‘new’ parent. This is not allowed in Islam, for it functions to give a false attribution to lineage of a child. This in Islam is tantamount to depriving the child of his/her originality, or others. As noticed in western countries, adopting and sealing files of original parents has caused great chaos in the intuition of family. Children suffer adversely within such ‘transactions.’ Everyone has a desire to know where they have come from, who their true parents remain to be (even if they have passed away, etc.)

From the galaxy of prophets, our prophet (PBUH) had adopted a child and showed great affection towards him (RA). The rules that relate to adoption remain to protect parent and child as we have observed from His (SAW) blessed example.

If excuses are what you are seeking, you would find them in east and west. If taking care of an orphan is what you are really seeking, you would find a creative as well as an amiable way to do it – a way that does not salvage core religious values nor the internal core (mental, etc) of an innocent child you are wanting to help. Just as your integrity remains important, so does the integrity of the child. Awarding orphans a home proves very spiritually rewarding. I really wish more Muslims would give this matter greater consideration, more so, as it relates to children in the years of early infancy.

Your simple solution would be as follows:

Islam sanctions taking a child under parental custody and making sure that the child would be taken care off with the most sincere sentiments.

Under optimal conditions, adopt a child that needs to be suckled. Many such children exist. Children being thrown in dumpsters or at hospital doors are a regular occurrence. The wife or woman adopting such a child would remove the laws of ‘muhrim’ between her and the child; or between the female child and the husband. This would also strengthen the bond between the new parental figures and child.

Allah Certainly Knows Best.

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4 responses to “How would adoption work in the United States by an Islamic couple?

  1. Asalaamu alaikum,
    Jazakallah khair for posting this article, as it is something I always wondered about. I appreciate it very much, but the biological truth is that a woman can only produce milk after she has given birth… what can be done if the woman has not recently given birth but would like to adopt? And if you have the information or hadiths on what the Prophet (peace be upon him) did in the case of his adopted son being around women in the family, please let me know. I am sorry if you are unable to answer my questions, but I would truly love to adopt children someday and would like to know more. Jazakallah khair for your time.

    • valid question. Fair question. An answer has been given, kindly await its posting due to queries that have come prior to yours. May Allah bless you for your query and clarification to this matter.

  2. Very Interesting

    Great Article,

    By the way, the term “Judaeochristian” referring to Judaism and Christianity denoting their similarities is really a misnomer. Islam is simultaneously closer to Christianity and Judaism than they are to eachother. Islam is like Christianity because Muslims belive Jesus is the Messiah, and Islam is close to Judaism in the absolute belief in One God. Judaism and Christianity differ from eachother on both accounts.

    Second, I don’t think adoption is a “judaeochristian” thing. It is an American thing, and very much a mormon thing as well, if you live here in Utah you’d know what I’m talking about.

    As far as Judaeochristian, you will not find many Jews adopting. Orthodox Jews probably adopt less than Muslims and if they do they will adopt Jews. African Americans, who are mostly protestant Christians, culturally oppose adoption for the same reason Muslims religiously oppose it. The parent of a child is the parent of the child, even if that parent has passed away or even put the child up for adoption.

    Salaam!

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