Husband troubled by wife's adoption on their marriage
Fatwa No: 85998

  • Fatwa Date:1-7-2003 - Jumaadaa Al-Oula 2, 1424
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Question

My wife was adopted by her present parents when she was young. She came to know her real parents and also their relation ship when she was in tenth standard. Now she is married to me. Her present adopted parents changed her father's name and put the name of the father who has adopted her, and even my Nikah was under the same name of the person who has adopted her. I have been married for 1 year. Is this lawful under Islam, and even before marriage my family knew that but we have not given it much importance. I have also asked one person who is very religious and he said that I can perform the Nikah with the name of her adopted father since all her certificates are under this present name. Is there any threat to the marriage? Do I have to change her father's name on the certificate and put the original father's name? Now I ask my wife not to go to the house of those who have adapted her though they have done a favour on her, married her, but I don't like that. My wife is ready to leave me if I ask her not to go to their house.

Answer

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions. Adoption is forbidden in Islam as Allah Says (interpretation of meaning): {…nor has He made your adopted sons your real sons. That is but your saying with your mouths. But Allâh says the truth, and He guides to the (Right) Way. Call them (adopted sons) by (the names of) their fathers, that is more just with Allâh. But if you know not their father's (names, call them) your brothers in faith and Mawâlîkum (your freed slaves)…}[33: 4-5]. So, the people who adopted this woman are considered in Shariah alien to her in the way that she not mixes with their men, stays in seclusion with them or expose her Awrah in front of them, …etc. But her husband should not prevent her from visiting them and being kind to them according to Shariah criteria. But if this could lead to any forbidden acts then her husband should prevent her from it. If she insists, then you can divorce her, although it is more appropriate to exhort her trying to convince her and showing the Shariah rules to her. As for the marital contract, it is valid provided there is consent of the normal Wali (guardian) of the woman in this case her father or her closest male relatives from the father's side like the grand father. If there is none of these, then the ruler (judge) is her Wali. Now, if you can change the official papers into her real father's name, you should do so otherwise Allah does not burden any person more than they could bear. But you should call her by the name of her real father not the adopted one. Allah knows best.

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