Muslims and adoption, please teach me - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 03-25-2011, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Now, I do understand that I am asking for huge generalizations, so please be gentle with me.

 

I know that Islam recognizes guardianship, not adoption. What practical impact does this have on Muslims adopting children? Is it less common for American Muslims to adopt than, say, the rest of the population, whatever religion, in North America?

 

I fell in love with a little special needs baby, who lives in a country where only Muslims are legally able to adopt. I thought a family would be found righ away, but still no luck after months. I am trying to understand why it has been so difficult to find a family for him, as I have never seen a baby like him in a listing in any other country: young, cute, somewhat correctable special needs. Are there simply not enough Muslims wanting to adopt internationally or is there is a reason they would mainly adopt healthy children?

 

This matter is rather painful to me, as I would like to adopt this little guy and it makes me angry that a home has not been found yet. He needs surgery within some months, and it does not seem likely to happen. This will make it less likely that his special needs issue will not effect the rest of his life.

 

I would appreciate any thoughts...


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#2 of 17 Old 03-25-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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I responded to your other thread, but I did want to add that no, there is not a religious bias against special needs children.
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#3 of 17 Old 03-26-2011, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!


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#4 of 17 Old 03-26-2011, 08:21 AM
 
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I don't know what Liquesce responded... but in general, the big issue with adoption is that the child does not know his family--which is big in Islam. I think it's more of how adoption was handled in the past vs. how it is handled now frequently. So... when I was adopted, my parents gave me the name Jane Doe (for example--I am adopted..but that's not my name. smile.gif) Mine was a closed adoption, as all were in the late 1960s--and neither I nor my parents knew anything about my biological family. In Islam, that would be troubling as one should know one's blood ties--both for inheritance purposes as well as marriage. (I converted as an adult, so adoption wasn't an issue for my Presbyterian family.)

I honestly have no idea if Muslims in America are less prone to adopt than people of other faiths. Taking care of orphans is considered a very important and noble thing in Islam especially as Prophet Muhammad was orphaned at a young age. He too adopted a son named Zaid.

I don't know which country you found this child in, but I wonder if you were to talk to the local Imam religious leader where you live, you could somehow make a case for your adoption. One big thing for them I think would be agreeing to raise the child Muslim--so perhaps the Imam would be willing to vouch for supervising the child's Islamic education. Perhaps there's a way to communicate with the embassy of the country as well. If your main concern is that somebody adopt this child--also alerting the local community might be a way to find this child a loving family. If you PM me more information, I'll see what I can do to help.

I wish you all the luck in the world. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

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#5 of 17 Old 03-26-2011, 08:39 AM
 
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http://adopt-abroad.com/morocco.htm

Read this. I do think it might be possible for you to adopt in Morocco--as no where on this site does it require the parents to be Muslim, just to respect the child's religious heritage. I think there's a lot you could do to show that you would do that--including studying Islam (perhaps listing the books you've read)... maybe agreeing to study with an Imam/Shaykh... have the child attend a local Muslim weekend school (like Sunday school), etc.

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#6 of 17 Old 03-26-2011, 11:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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umsami, will pm you. This link is highly interesting, not sure in a good way.

 

Edited to add: Yep, not in a good way: It seems that there are places that basically lie to people or at least greatly downplay the truth.


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#7 of 17 Old 03-31-2011, 10:34 PM
 
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Another issue that might make muslims less likely to adopt is due to gender issues. For example, at home, it is me, DH, and DS. We could adopt a boy, but then I would have to wear hijab all of the time at home when he is around(once he gets older). Or we could adopt a girl, but then SHE would have to wear hijab all of the time at home(and that would suck for a teenage girl to have to wear it constantly!) Of course, this would easily be remedied if I were to nurse the baby(because milk-siblings are subject to the same marriage laws as real siblings and their parents, and you don't have to cover in front of them) but not all women who wish to adopt have milk(especially single moms or women who can't get pregnant).

 

So, since we hope to adopt, we'll have to adopt a baby while I still have milk(or some scholars say you can just feed the milk from a bottle, so I could freeze the milk for the adopted baby.


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#8 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 12:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Amatullah0, this is very interesting. I had read about this, and thought that it is a shame many women don't know about relactating and all that. In this case it would seem that you don't that much milk to say you have nursed the child. Is the matter or nursing also connected to being able to change the name of the child and the child inheriting the adoptive parents, or are those things separate?


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#9 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 05:09 AM
 
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Thank you Amatullah0, this is very interesting. I had read about this, and thought that it is a shame many women don't know about relactating and all that. In this case it would seem that you don't that much milk to say you have nursed the child. Is the matter or nursing also connected to being able to change the name of the child and the child inheriting the adoptive parents, or are those things separate?



I suppose it's separate. The (not) name changing is about protecting the rights of the child to know who they are. The main purpose of it is so the child knows who his parents were(or in the case that the baby was found somewhere with no name or ID, he should know that nobody knows who his parents were). But it also protects the children from growing up thinking that they are biologically related to their adoptive family, which can have medical, marital, and financial implications. Letting the child know who they are can also protect them from getting their inheritance stolen(for example, if their parents left them any money). I should note that some scholars believe that it is ok to change the name of the child as long as you make it clear to them who their bio parents are. Also, an adopted child doesn't automatically inherit from his adoptive parents like their own child would(though their inheritance can be written into the will to be taken from the 1/3 of wealth that can be allotted to whomever you please.

 

The milk mostly has to do with marriage. In Islam, a boy is forbidden from marrying his mom, sister, aunt, grandmother, nieces. (this is also where not knowing your heritage comes in--there have been cases where people get married and later find out that they married their sister or something without knowing) AND, women have to cover in front of people that they can marry. So if a baby boy drinks my milk, that means I never have to wear hijab in front of him, and neither do my daughters. If I feed a girl, she doesn't have to wear hijab in front of my husband, my sons, or any other baby boys I've fed.

 

But yeah, when you feed a child they have to nurse enough so they are full/satisfied, just a couple of drops doesn't count, and you have to feed them more than once, but scholars differ on whether the milk can be from a bottle or if it has to be straight from the tap). It's still not a ton of milk, its only a few feedings.


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#10 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 06:18 AM
 
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This is interesting because my DH is from Pakistan, his family is Muslim, and he has one cousin who married a niece, and another cousin who married another cousin and they'd previously cross-nursed. So I guess I wonder who draws the lines and where. 

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#11 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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For whatever it's worth, most people I know either would be unlikely to observe strict rules of hijab before an adopted child, or if they were so inclined would be unlikely to see it as any more burdensome than someone else who prefers to make sure they are wearing a shirt or whatever in front of their children. I doubt this is a serious impediment to adoption in the religion at large. There is, however, at least in some places, a popular idea that adoption is defined as pretending a child not your own is your own. Mention the word and there will often be a kneejerk 'adoption is forbidden' response.** I have on multiple occasions myself found myself in the position of being something of an Islamic adoption advocate -- of explaining how and why it is not forbidden.

** Funny (in a sad, pitiful sort of way) half-relevant aside: Recently on Libyan state television their most propagandizing of all propagandizing news presenters said that the United Nations resolution authorizing the use of force against the country was forbidden by Islam, and it was forbidden by Islam because the resolution was adopted by the U.N., and adoption is haram.
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#12 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Liquesce View Post

** Funny (in a sad, pitiful sort of way) half-relevant aside: Recently on Libyan state television their most propagandizing of all propagandizing news presenters said that the United Nations resolution authorizing the use of force against the country was forbidden by Islam, and it was forbidden by Islam because the resolution was adopted by the U.N., and adoption is haram.

LOL smile.gif

As somebody who is adopted... I will say that a lot of Muslims do have the "oh no haram" knee-jerk response. Many are also shocked at how open I am about being adopted. It was never a secret in my family... never anything to be ashamed of. DH used to tell me I was lucky my parents treated me so well--assuming that adopted parents would somehow use their kids as slaves or something. So I think there are a lot of misconceptions about adoption as it is done in the West in Muslim countries. The thing is looking after orphans is one of the things that Muslims are told to do.

Prophet Muhammad, may peace and blessings be upon him, said, “I and the one who sponsors an orphan will be in Paradise like these two” – and he gestured with his forefinger and middle finger, holding them apart. Al-Bukhaari, 5304.

Mom to DS(8), DS(6), DD(4), and DS(1).  "Kids do as well as they can."

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#13 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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This is interesting because my DH is from Pakistan, his family is Muslim, and he has one cousin who married a niece, and another cousin who married another cousin and they'd previously cross-nursed. So I guess I wonder who draws the lines and where. 



In Pakistan, you have 2, maybe 3 groups. The group that mixes culture(meaning old traditional hindu culture(very strict)) and whatever small bit of Islam that they know, and they forbid just about everything from everyone. They think that if people don't pray, or don't cover, they are automatically the worst people in the world. Then theres the "normal pakistanis" and the women will cover when they go out, but only because if you don't cover, men stare at you(and dust and dirt get in your hair/on your clothes). If those same men were in their house, they wouldn't cover nearly as well. If they do pray and fast and do the basic stuff, they don't tend to know much about islam, they think that hijab is only for extremists, or that only men have to pray. Then the third group are women and men who have actually been educated about Islam. This group is really small, and I haven't personally met anyone here from this group yet(I've been in pakistan for a month and a half now). 

 

So, my point is, they probably don't know that their marriage is void in islam(and, they might not care either.)


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#14 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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For whatever it's worth, most people I know either would be unlikely to observe strict rules of hijab before an adopted child, or if they were so inclined would be unlikely to see it as any more burdensome than someone else who prefers to make sure they are wearing a shirt or whatever in front of their children. I doubt this is a serious impediment to adoption in the religion at large. There is, however, at least in some places, a popular idea that adoption is defined as pretending a child not your own is your own. Mention the word and there will often be a kneejerk 'adoption is forbidden' response.** I have on multiple occasions myself found myself in the position of being something of an Islamic adoption advocate -- of explaining how and why it is not forbidden.

** Funny (in a sad, pitiful sort of way) half-relevant aside: Recently on Libyan state television their most propagandizing of all propagandizing news presenters said that the United Nations resolution authorizing the use of force against the country was forbidden by Islam, and it was forbidden by Islam because the resolution was adopted by the U.N., and adoption is haram.


Yep. DH is educated in the basics of Islamic law and knows that its good to financially support orphans and stuff, but he didn't realize that adoption was ok in islam. I think I had to convince him(which is easy, because he wants to do what is right, he just doesn't know what is right, and I'm a bit more educated than he is :)) At which point we agreed that we would try to adopt at some point, God willing.

 

And, that is sad. I don't really understand what it means though, because I don't listen to or watch the news. Are they saying that the UN wants other countries to use force against Libya but the other countries(who probably aren't even muslim countries) won't be able to do that, because when something is haram, that makes it impossible to do?

 

 


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#15 of 17 Old 04-01-2011, 07:57 PM
 
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And, that is sad. I don't really understand what it means though, because I don't listen to or watch the news. Are they saying that the UN wants other countries to use force against Libya but the other countries(who probably aren't even muslim countries) won't be able to do that, because when something is haram, that makes it impossible to do?

 

 


Anti-government protesters in Libya requested UN military intervention to stop state violence against them, and the UN passed a resolution in favor of this. (Big controversy. BIG.) The state-run media was basically just trying to use whatever arguments they could to try to turn the Libyan public against the idea. They were saying that the resolution was legally and religiously illegitimate (but using just nonsense arguments such as the above for this), and not that it was physically impossible to be acted upon.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amatullah0 View Post

And, that is sad. I don't really understand what it means though, because I don't listen to or watch the news. Are they saying that the UN wants other countries to use force against Libya but the other countries(who probably aren't even muslim countries) won't be able to do that, because when something is haram, that makes it impossible to do?

 

 

 




Anti-government protesters in Libya requested UN military intervention to stop state violence against them, and the UN passed a resolution in favor of this. (Big controversy. BIG.) The state-run media was basically just trying to use whatever arguments they could to try to turn the Libyan public against the idea. They were saying that the resolution was legally and religiously illegitimate (but using just nonsense arguments such as the above for this), and not that it was physically impossible to be acted upon.


Aha. That was the more "reasonable" interpretation that I was also thinking, but somehow lost track of everything when I was typing. lol.

 

 


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#17 of 17 Old 04-06-2011, 01:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://adopt-abroad.com/morocco.htm

Read this. I do think it might be possible for you to adopt in Morocco--as no where on this site does it require the parents to be Muslim, just to respect the child's religious heritage. I think there's a lot you could do to show that you would do that--including studying Islam (perhaps listing the books you've read)... maybe agreeing to study with an Imam/Shaykh... have the child attend a local Muslim weekend school (like Sunday school), etc.


 

Ok.... Just to update: For some reason this agency does not say on their website that you need to become Muslim in order to adopt from Morocco. (Why not put it there? I have no idea.) However, after a couple of messages, I was told this is the case. If they like to waste their time writing messages with people who are not able to adopt from this country, I guess why not... Hah. The person was very nice, in any case.

 

I am still waiting to hear if "the" baby boy has been found a home. I am so hoping that is the case. If not us, then hopefully someone else... soon.

 

I am still feeling a lot of emotions about all this, though. (What I feel does not matter one bit, I realize it. Just rambling...) People lie, that is a fact. This is one of the few countries, where one can adopt a young baby, rather fast, and with relatively low cost. I can really see how for some people signing the paper is too much of a temptation, especially, is they don't profess any other religion, either. (These are the comment I have seen online: "I am not religious at all, so why would I care? I might as well sign, as I don't believe in religions to begin with." That sort of thing.) It is just sad to me, that is all.

 

Thank you, everyone, for your comments in this thread. It has been very interesting to me and it is always nice to learn something new.


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