Adoption in Islamic countries can be somewhat complicated. For a multitude of reasons, it’s less common in Muslim societies than it is in the Western hemisphere. Shari’a Law places certain restrictions on the treatment of orphans and abandoned children which, naturally, relates to adoption. The Qur’an, however, does encourage followers to care for orphans and to welcome children into their homes.
Islam Today says: “It is lawful to bring up children in one’s house and to love them as one’s own children, but the attribution of those children should always be to their true, biological parents. If the identity of the child’s parents is unknown, then the child should be given a general attribution that originates with the child.”
Because Islam places a great deal of importance on lineage, it’s illegal to pretend as if an adopted child is also related to you biologically; an adopted child’s birth lineage cannot be ignored.
This aligns with many American adoption views, particularly in terms of open adoption and the recommendation by most adoption agencies that children always know their adoption story and as much of their biological heritage as possible.
What’s a Muslim adoption agency?
A Muslim adoption agency is an adoption professional that exists specifically to help facilitate Muslim adoptions. Muslim couples can adopt through a specific Islamic adoption agency, like New Star Kafala in New York, which will be better-versed in Islamic laws and cultural practices across all Islamic countries.
This is not to say, however, that Muslim families must adopt through a specific Muslim adoption agency. Many national adoption agencies, like American Adoptions, welcome adoptive families and birth parents of all religious backgrounds. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re specifically looking to match with Muslim birth parents, your adoption wait time will likely be lengthier.
Who is adopted through a Muslim adoption agency?
Most of the children adopted through Muslim agencies are kids that have either been abandoned or voluntarily relinquished by their birth parents. Frequently, the children are either boys more than 3 years old or kids with special needs.
Where can Muslim adoption agencies help me adopt from?
Different Islamic countries have different requirements for adoption. Some, in fact, may not recognize or allow adoptions at all. Other countries might require that parents be Muslim. Morocco, for example, requires that adoptive parents be heterosexual, married, at least 25 years old and Muslim, among other requirements. Different countries may have different finalization procedures, and some Islamic countries grant guardianship as opposed to adoption. In this scenario, adoptive parents will be required to re-adopt their child upon returning to the U.S.
Working with an Islamic adoption agency will give you access to professionals who are well-versed in each country’s requirements and who can provide recommendations based on time and cost estimates.