Adopting A Child


What are the Shar’ee rulings regarding adopting a child?

Please explain the laws of Mahram and Ghair-Mahram as well.


Adoption of a child is permissible in Sharee’ah; in fact it is a great virtuous and righteous act. Nabi Sallallhu Alaihi Wasallam had also adopted a Sahabi by the name of Hazrat Zaid Bin Haaritha Radhiallahu Anhu as his adopted son. A person can adopt a child for his emotional and psychological needs. A person can treat him like his own child, show affection to him, love him and
care for him just like he would do with his own child. This will serve him as a great means of earning rewards in both the worlds. However, it should be borne in mind that no matter how closethe person gets to the adopted child, this will have no legal implication in Sharee’ah with regard to family lineage, inheritance, etc. Hence, there are certain laws of Sharee’ah that will have to be heeded. We mention hereunder some of the laws pertaining to adoption;

(1) The child should not be attributed except to the real father, and not to the one who has adopted him.
(2) If a woman adopts a male child, she will observe Hijaab from him after he reaches the age of puberty, unless she is his Mahram (related to him in a prohibition degree, for instance she is the child’s paternal or maternal aunt), or she has breastfed the child before he attained the age of two. Similarly, if it is a female child, she will have to adopt purdah from her adoptive father, unless he is her Mahram (her paternal or maternal uncle, etc.), or if his wife or sister, etc., has breastfed the child before the child attained the age of two.
(3) An adopted son who has not been breastfed by the adoptive mother before the age of two can marry the biological daughter of his adoptive parents.
(4) An adopted child cannot inherit form his adoptive parents etc. but it would be permissible, rather advisable for them to make a bequest in favour of their adopted child. Such a bequest should not exceed one-third of the deceased’s estate.

Note: All these rules have been extracted from the principles laid down by the Holy Qur’aan and Ahaadeeth of Rusoolullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam.


Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.


Contemporary Fatawaa of Mufti Mohammed Taqi Uthmani Saheb (D.B.), Pg: 130, Idara’e Islamiat Edition

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