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UK Charity Encourages Muslims to Foster Kids

LONDON – A British humanitarian charity has launched a new campaign to encourage British Muslims to foster Muslim kids, amid hopes of tackling the shortage of Muslim applicants for adoption.

“Our research has shown that many Muslims have poor levels of knowledge about adoption,” Tay Jiva, adoption and fostering manager at the Penny Appeal charity, told The Guardian on Tuesday, April 4.

“Many of them think, incorrectly, that adoption is a sin. By showing that this is a mistaken belief I am confident that more Muslims will consider applying to adopt a child who desperately needs a safe and loving home.”

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The charity, based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, has won £200,000 funding from the Department for Education to support the 12-month project.

According to information revealed by the charity, 2,000 of the 70,000 children in care in 2015 were of Muslim heritage.

The actual figure is expected to be higher as a third of English councils do not record the religion of children in their care and a number of recently arrived unaccompanied asylum seeking children in the UK are Muslims.

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Seeking to correct a misconception that adoption is a sin, the Penny Appeal invited a group of prominent Islamic scholars to write a guidance document to clarify the religious stance on adoption and fostering.

Moreover, the charity adoption and fostering team will attend dozens of events in community centers and mosques to raise awareness of adoption.

“We aspire to have every child grow up in a loving, stable home, and the Practice and Improvement fund should make a real difference to the experience of adoption for so many vulnerable children and their families,” the children’s minister, Edward Timpson, said.

“We know there is more we can do, and I hope that projects like this one by the Penny Appeal will pave the way with great ideas of how they can better support children and adoptive families.”

In Islam, Muslim parents are urged to treat children with respect and to nurture, love and educate them.

Islam gives children many rights and is concerned with their spiritual, physical, and emotional well being.

Muslims are ordered to offer children physical needs, such as food, drink and sleep as well as taking care of their children’s emotional and spiritual needs.

Islam also endorses fostering orphan kids, allowing Muslims to a boy or a girl and takes care of him or her as a real father or mother would do to their child, while keeping in mind that the child should be named after his/her biological parents.

Yet, Islam makes it impermissible to adopt a child and name him after his adoptive parents, while denying his real parents.