Question: Is it permitted to adopt a newborn child? What is the relationship status between the child and the adoptive parents?
Allah the Almighty says:
“(…) 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.” (Al-Ahzab/ The Allies 33:4-5)
Adoption is prohibited, but caring for orphaned children is truly a good deed. We should take care of the followings in such situations:
1. Adopted child must know that he/she has been living with adoptive parents and they are not bloodline parents.
2. Adopted child is not a legal heir to adoptive parents but adoptive parents could bequeath possessions to them. If adoptive parents have other heirs, the testate possessions could not exceed one-third of the heritage.
3. The family should not forget that the child is not a blood relative to them. They should know that the boy/girl is not different than other boys/girls regarding the rules about privacy.
If a newborn baby is adopted and also suckled by the woman, this woman will be the foster mother of this baby. By this way, they become relatives and the rules of privacy will be removed. The baby becomes prohibited to marry the foster mother, her husband and the children of them. But they will still be outsiders on issues like heritage.
If we take care of the orphans and the homeless children and reintegrate them into the society by complying with the rules, this will be an extremely favorable action.
The Messenger of Allah said:
“I and the person who looks after and guards an orphan, will be in paradise like this (putting his index and middle fingers together).” (Bukhari, Adab/Manners, 24; Muslim, Zuhd, 42)