Question: We can't have a baby. We have a mutual nephew with my spouse. We would like to adopt him. We will not tell him about his real parents until he reaches a certain age. He is ten months old now, and he will instinctively call us mother and father after a while. Is this permitted?
Taking care of the orphans and the homeless children, raising them, protecting their properties are indeed good deeds. (Verses regarding orphans: 2:83/215, 4:6/8/10/36/127, 6:152, 17:34, 76:8, 107:2)
Looking after a relative’s child, helping in nurturing and educating him whose family suffers from financial difficulties can also be considered like this. Hence, when prophet Muhammad’s grandfather had died, his uncle Abu Talib looked after him.
However, adoption is forbidden as well as making a child forget his real parents. Quran repealed this tradition which was common among Arabs in the time of prophet Muhammad.
Allah the Almighty commands:
“(…) He has not made your adopted children your true children. These are only words that you utter with your mouths. But Allah proclaims the Truth and directs you to the Right Path. Call them by [the names of] their fathers. It is more equitable in the sight of Allah. But if you do not know their fathers, then they are your brothers in faith and those entrusted to you. There’s no sin for your mistaken utterances, but (there’s sin) for what you say deliberately. Allah always forgives and grants.” (The Allies, 33:4-5)
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