Can a man marrying a divorced woman also adopt her six-year old daughter from her first marriage?
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear brother Burhan,
Thanks for the mail informing us of the issue of adoption. I have a further
query which isn as follows:
Can a man marrying a divorced woman also adopt her six-year old daughter
from her first marriage? This girl had not seen her biological father.
Further, the parents of the woman did not encourage the woman (their
daughter) to return her daughter to her former husband. Kindly also inform
me if it was legal in the eyes of Islam to adopt this six-year old girl.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Please do not disclose my name.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Adopt Daughter of Wife
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 33 Surah Ahzab verses 4-5:
4 Allah has not made for any man two hearts in his (one) body: nor has He made your wives whom ye divorce by Zihar your mothers: nor has He made your adopted sons your sons. Such is (only) your (manner of) speech by your mouths. But Allah tells (you) the Truth and He shows the (right) Way.
5 Call them (the adopted children) by (the names) of their fathers: that is juster in the Sight of Allah; but if ye know not their father's (names call them) your Brothers in faith or your Maulas. But there is no blame on you if ye make a mistake therein: (what counts is) the intention of your hearts: and Allah is Oft-Returning Most Merciful.
Islam absolutely allows and permits adoption, provided the Shariah limits declared by Allah and His Messenger (saws) are maintained:
- The adopted child will be called and recognized by the name of his/her biological father.
- The adopted child will inher only from his biological parents.
- The adopted child will not inherited from his adopted parents; but if the parents wish to leave something from their wealth to their adopted child, they must make a will and may bequeath upto a maximum 1/3 of their wealth to whomever they wish apart from their legal heirs.
- The adopted parents will not inherit from their adopted child; but if the adopted child wishes to leave something from his/her wealth to their adopted parents, they must make a will and are permitted to bequeath upto a maximum of 1/3rd of their wealth.
- The adopted child will be a mehram only of those who are biologically related to him or through common suckling; adoption by itself does not make a person a mehram.
Apart from the above 5 Shairah principles of adoption, the adopted child will be loved, cared for, and respected in all matters exactly like ones own child.
Your Question-1: Can a man marrying a divorced woman also adopt her six-year old daughter from her first marriage?
There is absolutely no harm and no restriction in Islam if the man wishes to adopt the six-year old daughter of his wife, provided the daughter will be recognized and called by her biological fathers name, the adopted daughter will not inherit from her adopted father, nor will the adopted father inherit from his adopted daughter, and the adopted daughter will remain a non-mehram to her adopted father.
If the man adopts the daughter, and treats and loves and honors her in all other respects like his own children, he will have a huge reward in the Presence of his Lord for his this truly great deed.
Your Statement: This girl had not seen her biological father.
Islam has laid all the financial responsibilities of the upbringing of the girl upon her biological father; and the biological father has a right and should visit his daughter as often as he can.
If the biological father has not volunteered to bear the expenses of his daughter, nor cared to visit her, nor cared how the daughter is doing and living; he will be guilty of not fulfilling his rights towards his daughter and will be called to a severe account in the Presence of the Lord Most Majestic on the Day of Judgment.
Allah Says in the Holy Quran Chapter 2 Surah Baqarah verses 232-233:
232 When ye divorce women and they fulfil the term of their (`Iddat) do not prevent them from marrying their (former) husbands if they mutually agree on equitable terms. This instruction is for all amongst you who believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is (the course making for) most virtue and purity amongst you and Allah knows and ye know not.
233 The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years if the father desires to complete the term. But he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. No mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child nor father on account of his child. An heir shall be chargeable in the same way if they both decide on weaning by mutual consent and after due consultation there is no blame on them. If ye decide on a foster-mother for your offspring there is no blame on you provided ye pay (the mother) what ye offered on equitable terms. But fear Allah and know that Allah sees well what ye do.
The divorced wife, nor the parents of the divorced wife have a right to deny the biological father to visit and care for his daughter; if they have in any way denied the biological father his rights to care for his daughter, it is they who will be guilty and called to a severe account on the Day of Judgment.
Your Statement: Further, the parents of the woman did not encourage the woman (their daughter) to return her daughter to her former husband.
When a couple who have a child decide to divorce, Shariah dictates that the mother shall have primary custody of the children until they reach the age of understanding or puberty. If the father wishes to take custody he must claim so in a Shariah Court, and the Shariah Judge will ask the children whom they wish to live with, their mother or their father; and whatever the children decide, the Shariah Judge will implement their decision.
Thus, since the daughter is only six-years old, the mother is the primary custody bearer of the daughter until the daughter reaches the age of understanding and her father claims custody in a Shariah Court.
Your Question: Kindly also inform me if it was legal in the eyes of Islam to adopt this six-year old girl.
Beloved Brother, there are absolutely no legal proceedings when one wishes to adopt a child in Islam; it is a simple and basic understanding in good-faith between the guardians of the child and the people or person wishing to adopt the child.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me alone. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your brother and well wisher in Islam,