An extremely rewarding role

Adoption is not a decision to be taken lightly, and families who do choose to adopt are provided with support and specialist advice throughout their journey, often undertaking the difficult task of rehabilitating children who have experienced extreme trauma and/or abuse.

There is a hadith about the virtue of taking care of the orphans:

From Sahl bin Sa’ad (may Allah be pleased with him), he said: “The Messenger of Allah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said: “I and the one who looks after an orphan will be like this in Paradise,” showing his middle and index fingers and separating them.”

[Sahih al-Bukhari : Book 68, Hadith 53]

Adoption process

Once you have had the initial telephone conversation with an agency, you are likely to have an initial visit to discuss your interest further and find out more about the process.

Following this you will make a decision if you want to proceed and become adoptive parents, where you will go through these steps:

Register your Interest

This stage of the process is where statutory checks are undertaken and preparations are made for training. Normally, this stage will take up to 2 months.

Suitability Assessment

You will be assessed of your suitability to adopt, as well as attending an adoption panel meeting. This stage is typically completed within 4 months and will decide whether you are an approved adopter.

Searching for your child

After becoming an approved adopter, your social worker and adoption agency will work with you to identify children whose needs you could meet.

For a more in-depth explaination of these stages for the adoption process, please refer to our guide by clicking here

Adoption in Islam

Rules for adoption in Islam

Instead of adoption, a concept called Kafala is mentioned in the Quran.

Kafala emphasizes fostering children in need of care but forbids claiming adoptive children as blood relatives. There are certain rules when considering adoption in Islam:

  • Islamic Inheritance Law only permits blood relatives to hold rights to an estate. Adopted children are able to be receive inheritance if its given to them in the form of a gift.
  • Changing the family name of the adopted child is not permitted.
  • Every child should have a connection to their biological family.
  • The adoptive parents are not permitted to claim the child as their own; i.e. the child taking the name of the adoptive father.

The Quran states:

"Call them by [the names of] their [biological] fathers”

[Qur'an 33:5]

This signifies the importance of keeping the child’s identity intact by keeping their original surname. The choice to hold onto the surname is completely in the hands of the child, and should they wish to, they are able to change it if they have a clear understanding of their background and roots.

Why these rules exist

While these rules may seem farfetched to some, they’re actually put in place to help the child maintain a connection with their birth family and give them autonomy over their own lives.

Adoption in Islam is very often misunderstood and deters a great deal of Muslims from considering adopting out of a lack of understanding. It’s important to us to break these barriers down and provide some clarity to prospective Muslim adopters.

Tabbani is when a child is brought up by the adopted parents without being told about their true identity and this is strictly prohibited in Islam. Tabbani and adoption are often confused, and many believe adoption itself is prohibited, which is untrue.


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  • Not by law, however, we encourage you to be open to once a year letterbox contact, where you send an update of the child to your social worker, who will then show the birth parents. The birth parents can also send a letter through the social worker – it’s up to you if you wish the letter with your child.

  • You will be able to apply for permanent adoption after two months of the child being with you.

  • The average age of a child at adoption is 3 years old.

  • You cannot apply to become an adoptive parent if you or anyone living in your household has a criminal conviction or has been cautioned for specified criminal offences against children and/or some sexual offences against adults.  This will be covered in stage one, before you are allowed to proceed.

  • It’s important that your adoptive child has a strong sense of their family history and cultural identity. By embracing their heritage and culture, you can help assure that they develop into healthy adult.

  • It’s possible but how long it takes for you to be matched to a child under 2 depends on how flexible you are with what ethnicities you are willing to adopt. If the child is under 2, it is advisable to be open with adopting from non-Muslim parents.