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Rules of Purdah (segregation) in Adoption

Q. We wish to adopt a girl. Our concern is that once the child grows up, will she have to make purda from the menfolk in the home? Also, can the biological parents be allowed to visit the child when they wish?

(There may be grammatical and spelling errors in the above question. Questions are published as received)

A. The laws of Hijab will apply to the adopted child. She will have to make purda (conceal herself) from the menfolk at home when she nears the age of puberty or upon menstruation. However, if the adoption was done when the child was below two years old, the issue of purdah may be overcome by the adopting mother breastfeeding the child. This will establish a foster relationship between the breastfeeding mother and the breastfed child.

This in turn will cause the breastfeeding mother’s husband to become the child’s foster father and will establish the same relation with regards to maternal/paternal uncles, grandparents and brothers who will become foster uncles, foster grandparents and foster brothers respectively. Her foster family are her Mahrams and Purdah will not be necessary in front of them. As they are Mahrams, marriage between her and her foster relations cannot take place.

The biological parents do not lose their visitation rights by giving their child for adoption.

And Allah Knows Best

Fatwa Department
Jamiatul Ulama (KZN)

Council of Muslim Theologians

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