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At what age should we let the child know that she is adopted?

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)

 

One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

We have decided to adopt a baby girl insha Allah. I have few questions regarding adoption in islam.

1.I know that the biological father`s name ( if we get to know the biologicalfathers name) should be given to the child but i would like to call her by my husband`s name since we want her to be one of our children and should not feel different.Will it be wrong for us to do so?

2. At what age should we let the child know that she is adopted?

3. Is it okay to let the child know that she is adopted at a later age when she can understand?

4. Since we want to adopt a girl, if my husbands mahram members of the family feed the child will the child become mahram to my husband? 

 

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Answer:

 

Adoption of girl

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.

 

Your Question-1: I know that the biological father`s name ( if we get to know the biologicalfathers name) should be given to the child but i would like to call her by my husband`s name since we want her to be one of our children and should not feel different.Will it be wrong for us to do so?

Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzaab verses 4-5:


4 Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body: nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers: nor has He made your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth and He shows the (right) Way.

5 Call them (those whom you adopt) by (the names) of their fathers: that is juster in the sight of Allah; but if ye know not their father's (names call them) your Brothers in faith or your Maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.

 

It is absolutely impermissible and unlawful in Shariah and a grave sin in the Sight of Allah Subhanah that one intentionally call oneself or be recognized by a name other than of ones own biological father.

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.712 Narrated by Wathila bin Al Asqa

Allah's Messenger (saws) said, "Verily, one of the worst lies is to claim falsely to be the offspring of someone other than one's real father, or to claim to have had a dream one has not had, or to attribute to me what I have not said."

 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 4.711 Narrated by Abu Dhar

The Prophet (saws) said, "If somebody claims to be the offspring of any other than his real father knowingly, he but disbelieves in Allah; and if somebody claims to belong to some folk to whom he does not belong, let such a person take his place in the (Hell) Fire."

 

Regardless of however noble your intentions might be in wishing to name the adopted child through the name of your husband, it would be your obligatory duty and an extension of your faith and your submission to the Wisdom of the Lord that the adopted child be called and recognized by the name of her own biological father.that would be more just and proper in the Sight of Allah Subhanah.

 

Your Question-2: At what age should we let the child know that she is adopted?
Your Question-3: Is it okay to let the child know that she is adopted at a later age when she can understand?

There is absolutely no requirement or obligation in Shariah for the guardians to inform the child that it had been adoptedneither in its childhood, nor when the child attains maturity; but if the adopted parents wish to inform their adopted child regarding its adoption for any reason whatsoever, there is absolutely no harm.

 

When the child reaches the age of understanding, through its name, or through its bond of mehram relationships, etc. with the family, it will not only learn to accept but appreciate the situations and the conditions which resulted in its adoption by its noble foster-parents.

 

Your Question-4: Since we want to adopt a girl, if my husbands mahram members of the family feed the child will the child become mahram to my husband? 

Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 7.36 (part) Narrated by Aisha

..The Messenger of Allah (saws) said, "Foster suckling relations make all those things unlawful which are unlawful through corresponding birth (blood) relations."

 

Although there is absolutely no harm if all of your husbands mehram female relatives wish to suckle the child, if ones intention is merely to make the husband (adopted father) a mehram of the adopted girl, the suckling of the infant girl by the wife (adopted mother) alone would suffice for the girl to form a mehram relationship with not only the husband (her adopted father), but all the blood relatives of the wife (adopted mother).

 

Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.

 

Your brother and well wisher in Islam,

 

 

Burhan

 


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