Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Morocco's Adoption Laws May Be Tightened

In what is disturbing news for children awaiting adoption in Morocco, the Ministry of Justice plans to review kafala Laws and procedures.  Islamic views on adoption are generally distinct from practices and customs of adoption in other non-Muslim parts of the world like Western or East Asian societies.


Raising a child who is not one's genetic child is allowed and, in the case of an orphan, even encouraged. But, according to the Islamic view, the child does not become a true child of the "adoptive" parents. For example, the child is named after the biological, not adoptive, father. The child is also a non-Mahram to members of the adoptive family.

Thus many Muslims say that it is forbidden by Islamic law to adopt a child (in the common sense of the word), but permissible to take care of another child, which is translated into Arabic as Arabic: kafala‎.  There can also be confusion between a child that has been orphaned and one who has been abandoned but is presumed to have living parents.

The Justice Minister's Views

The Moroccan newspaper Akhbar al-Youm (Today's News) published a story late July on Justice Minister Mostafa Rahmid's views on the granting of kafala (guardianship) to non-Muslim, non-resident foreigners.

The article quotes Minister Rahmid as saying that he has decided to "stop granting guardianship of Moroccan children to foreign families", insisting that "guardianship of abandoned children is for Muslims, and foreign Muslims residing in Morocco."

The Minister subsequently stated that kafala guardianship would only be considered for those foreign families who are long-term residents in Morocco.

The status of pending kafala petitions by U.S. and other citizens is unclear.

U.S. citizens wishing to obtain kafala of Moroccan children should be aware that is unclear at this time whether the courts will accept new kafala petitions.


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