Monday, March 8, 2010

Adoption in Islam

After Chasing Jannah posted about Daughter from Danang, it really got me thinking about adoption in Islam. This post is not really related at all to the documentary. Just about adoption.

I've always thought of adoption very positively. I mean, a family is adopting into their home a child that they will treat and raise as their own, with love and committment. The child really becomes their own and there is no difference than if they were biologically their own. I really think it's so wonderful to be able to do that for a child. The only complication is that there are *actual* biological parents to this child. No matter how loved they are by their adoptive parents, there's the knowledge that there was someone else that did not want them. Even though they know it wasn't *them* who did something wrong, I imagine it's hard to live with that. Unless they were an orphan, those thoughts are always there, and it comes with thoughts of meeting them, seeing what they're like, etc.

I still think that adoption is such a great thing, but now I realize more that for there to be these kids to adopt, parents have to have given up theirs responsabilities towards these children! Unless the children are orphans of course. I feel sad about this situation...

I tried to put together adoption and Islam and what I came up with was that it's not Islamic to adopt a child as your own because a child should keep his parents name. He should always be his real parents' child. I thought it sucked a little that it wasn't allowed to adopt in this way because of how great I thought it was for this child to really have a family that was his own, being able to have parents he wouldn't be able to have. It bugged me that a woman who was adopted would technically have to wear hijab with her adoptive father, who is really nothing else than her father to her.

But then it all clicked as I thought about it... Adoption has no place in Islam because giving up your child has no place in Islam. The women who feel they have to give up their child, or who are in no position to take care of a child would just not *be*. First, they're less likely to be in such a situation since they need to be in a committed relationship to get pregnant. And second, a community that is actually Muslim will help a family in need/a woman in need. This is, of course, the way it would ideally work... Practically it might be a different story and I think children are better adopted than they are in an orphanage. I know this is what normally happens in "Muslim" countries. But at least ideally it makes sense... And I will promote foster parenting by doing that for a child myself insha'Allah, at least bringing the situation closer to what I think it should be.

7 Comentários:

Stacy aka Fahiima said...

usually a child from a Muslim family will be "adopted" by another relative. A woman I know of got married and then her husband left her when she got pregnant. Apparently he had only married her for sex and didn't want kids. (not a good example of a Muslim). Her brother took her and the baby in and gave the little girl his name since her father didn't want anything to do with her or supporting her.

Banana Anne said...

I too am very interested in the concept of adoption in Islam, mostly because I was adopted and I would like to take in children at some point Insha'Allah. It makes sense that "adoption" in the American sense of the word is not allowed in Islam because no matter how much one may wish it, the adopted child is never going to be physically related to the adoptive parents. If I ever "adopt" a child in the Islamic sense, I would like to adopt a young child that I could breastfeed, so the issue of the child being non-mahram wouldn't apply.
I never even thought of the fact that in Islam there ideally shouldn't even be children that need to be put up for adoption. That is a very good point. Although I am a bit hesitant on using the word "unwanted" to describe a child. Sometimes their birthparents really, truly want to keep their child, but because of extenuating circumstances they just can't. Look at the mother of Prophet Musa (as); even though she was reunited with her beloved baby, she was still forced to officially give him over to the family of Pharaoh because as a slave (and because of the law that all Bani Israil boy babies were to be killed) she was not in the position to keep Musa (as).

.::Tuttie::. said...

honestly, the Islamic way of adopting is far more humane than any other kind.

First the child knows from the beginning where they stand and it protects their lineage regardless of what the birth parent does. I know many adoptees who go throw the pain of growing up thinking one thing just to have the rug pulled from underneath them and they feel like their whole life has been a lie. It creates identity issues and trust issues. The ones that have gone ahead and petitioned their records to try to find out their birth parents have had their hearts broken because their adopted parents (well meaning of course) had amended their birth certificates and this complicated their search if not ended it outright.

I think its only natural for us to want to find out where we come from and if we are part native American or part dolphin and I think its wrong to rob someone of it. I do plan to adopt and I do plan on treating this child as my own emotionally and physically but I will protect their name and keep as much information for them when and if they choose to search for their birth parents.

I also plan on opening a bank account for them (accessible to them when they become a certain age) and stashing some money away for them in the case I pass away, they are not left without anything. I know they wouldn't inherit like my bio kids and I have asked and they told me it is permissible to open a trust fund for them since I did it when I was alive and it is a gift to them. I am allowed to give gifts. ;)

Either way the more you learn about adoption in islam from reputable sources you will find out how it protects all parties involved. (think am gonna make a post about this since am so passionate about it.)

ps. the more I think of it the more I think it probably is best if I open a trust fund for all the children so that there are not 'favorites' or bad blood after my death.

Candice said...

Stacy: That's a nice story... Not good of the "husband" though, what a loser.

Banana Anne: I didn't mean to say that the child was not wanted. You're right, there are definitely other reasons to give it up. Not being able to take care of it for example.

Tuttie: I agree. I realized with giving it actual thought that a child is better off knowing who his biological parents are, even if they are not the ones to care for him. I talked with a friend of mine whose friend is adopted and he has major issues from it. And a friend of mine's mom is adopted and she's honestly coocoo from finding out in adulthood that they were not her parents. And a co-worker's brother is adopted and the co-worker thinks he's the way he is (just messed up) because of being adopted. I'd never thought of seeing it as "more humane" but that sounds like a good expression to use based on these things I just recently learned...

My post was kind of all over the place, but I was basically figuring out as I wrote that the things the children go through not knowing where they come from is not worth pretending they are nothing more than the adoptive parents' child. They have biological parents and they should know who they are.

cairo, lusaka, amsterdam said...

Despite the way it should work in Islam (and I'm sure other religions as well), there are many abandoned children in Muslim communities and countries.
I'm not sure why exactly a child cannot take the name of their adoptive parents...I heard once it is because they might one day marry their brother or sister because they won't know they're related anymore. Not sure if that is an Islamic reason though.

Candice said...

I've been realizing how important it is for a person to know where he comes from and it's becoming obvious that this is why children must keep their father's name. It makes a lot of sense. I think it's more about a person's identity than accidentally marrying their sibling.

Muslim countries definitely don't work with the Islamic ideal... But it's not only in adoption that they fall short.

Susanne said...

I have several friends who have adopted so this post was quite interesting to me.

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