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Can Women Adopt Kids?

08 April, 2018
Q As-salamu `alaykum. As the Prophet (peace be upon him) adopted Zayd ibn Haritha, can a single woman adopt kids even when not married? My sister is getting married and her husband is sadly sterile and going to die within five years and she will be a widow. She wants to adopt kids at orphanage like two babies, or kids up to preteen age. She wants to give love and ease their suffering of poverty. She will be alone and doesn't want to remarry. She said she just wants to marry to complete half of imam/sunnah/faith or whatever it is called if you know what I mean.


Wa `alaykum as-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

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In this fatwa:

It is known that adopting is not allowed in Islam. However, if your sister wants to take care of some orphans, there is nothing wrong in that.

In his response to your question, Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a senior lecturer and an Islamic scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states:

There is no formal adoption in the sense of changing the paternal identity of the adoptee in Islam. It is false parentage. However, we are allowed to adopt children if it does not involve any fake identity with the noble intention of taking care of them and nurturing them with care and love.

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Therefore, as long as your sister can make this distinction and understand her responsibilities and can take on the necessary responsibilities associated with it, she may do that. The Prophet’s wives (may Allah be pleased with them) used to take care of the orphans.

Allah Almighty knows best.

Editor’s note: This fatwa is from Ask the Scholar’s archive and was originally published at an earlier date.