In the name of Allāh,
the Beneficent, the Merciful.
Peace and Blessings of Allāh on Mohammad.
Allāh–the Glorious and the High,
Lord of the worlds
Mohammad–who brought the world
to our feet and eternity to our arms.
The Prophet Mohammad adopted Zaid–(Bokhari Vol. 5, #335).
Islam does not prohibit adoption. The only stipulation is that adopted children be named after their fathers: “nor has He (Allah) made those whom you assert (to be your sons) your sons…..Call them by (the names of) their fathers; this is more equitable with Allāh; but if you know not their fathers, then they are your brethren in faith and your friends. And there is no blame on you in that wherein you make a mistake, but (you are answerable for) that which your hearts purpose. And Allāh is ever Forgiving, Merciful”–(Qur’an 33:5).
This requirement to call adopted children by the names of their fathers when possible is not without merit. Children have the right to know their biological parents in which event they may be entitled to inheritance from their parents. Not knowing their parents they may end up marrying their own brother or sister. Also, depending on the age of their parents when they were placed for adoption, children may end up marrying their own father or mother.
Moreover, Islam requires honoring mothers especially and holding on to family ties–(Qur’an 4:1); this can only be done if children know their biological mothers.
Even in societies that practiced a “closed” file adoption, adoptive parents tell children they were adopted; and there are children who try to find their birth parents, and vice versa. The Islamic value system makes this process easy. In fact, regardless of the reason they were placed for adoption, adopted children may be more at ease at having two “known” sets of parents.
Keeping an adopted child ignorant of his parentage could have a devastating effect on the child, and even on the adoptive parents, in the event that the child should find out from outside source(s) that he was adopted. He might go through the rest of his life resentful of his adoptive parents because of not being told and aching to know his biological parents and the reason he was placed for adoption.
Since Islam requires the State to provide for the poor and needy, etc;–(Qur’an 9:60), placing a child for adoption would have to be under extreme situation. Thus there would be no shame on parent(s) and children being in contact after adoption. And adoptive parents rather than be “exclusive” should be joyed to share with the birth parents.
Apart from the fact that orphans and the needy are to benefit from a will during its division-(Qur’an 4:7-8). Adopted children can also inherit from their adopted parents through a “bequest” in the adopted parent’s will–(Qur’an 4:11-12). Also, adopted parents may even give their adopted children outside of a will.
While it is not incumbent on the adopted parents to keep the adopted child when the child reaches the age of discretion (about fourteen years of age) there is no requirement that the child be turned out of the house. Allāh instructs us:
“And those of your slaves who ask for a writing (of freedom), give them the writing, if you know any good in them, and give them of the wealth of Allāh which He has given you”–Qur’an 24:33);
and Prophet Mohammad taught:
“The man shall have a double reward who has a slave-girl and he trains her in the best manner and he gives her the best education, then he sets her free and marries her”–(Bokhari Vol. 4 # 655; & 3:720).
Since slaves are to be freed only if he can provide for himself and to also help him financially, and the slave girl is to be given an education and given into marriage then, it stands to reason that an adopted child is to receive the same or even greater consideration. Moreover, while the unfortunates are to be provided for by the State, to evict children out of the house who are ill-equipped or unprepared to provide for themselves may send them into committing acts such as thievery and prostitution which Islam strives against. And, clearly, Islam does not work against itself.