Dubai: Adoption in Islam or rather foster parenting presents a different take on the practice of adoption.
Much like every other Sharia law, the law of adoption is interpreted differently, from one school of thought to the other, and on occasion from one scholar to the other.
What most scholars seem to agree on is that the adoptive family cannot pass on its name to the adoptive child.
Yousuf Al Qaradawi chairman of International Union for Muslim Scholars does not disagree with this interpretation of the law, "giving a child your name does not change the fact that he's not yours, he'll never look like you, or inherit any of your traits, and so adoption in that manner is prohibited in Islam."
However, many scholars including Al Qaradawi agree that sponsoring or rather caring for an orphan without passing on their name to the child is highly recommended.
The foster parent-child relationship or (Kafala) meaning to feed, has a specific set of rules in Sharia law.
Firstly, the adopted child is to keep his or her own biological family's name; secondly, the child can only inherit from his or her biological parents, not automatically from the adoptive parents.
If the child inherits property or fortune from his or her biological family, the adoptive parents are to function as trustees, as in they are to take care of their fortunes for their adoptive child until the child reaches an age where he or she can handle their finances on their own.
When the child reaches puberty, he or she is made aware that members of the adoptive family are not related by blood to them, meaning they can marry from their adoptive family.
However, the Islamic Council of Fatwa in Jerusalem issued a Fatwa stating that it's possible for the adoptive parents to name their adoptive child on official documents as theirs, but the adoption stays on paper, meaning the child is not to inherit anything.
Another Sharia law that deals with family dynamic is the law of breast feeding.
The law states that if a mother feeds a child she did not give birth to while nursing a child of her own; both become siblings, and cannot marry one another, as the child she nursed becomes related to the rest of her children.