Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Adoption and Fostering: Overview
(2,287 words)

Across cultures, adoption and fostering take different forms. In the Arabic language, adoption ( tabannā ) signifies the creation of a fictive relationship of parent to child, by naming the child as one's own and by endowing him or her with rights and duties identical to those of a biological child. Fostering ( kafāla ) is the act of assuming partial or complete responsibility for a child whose parents are temporarily or permanently unable to care for him or her. Adoption in the former sense is forbidden in Islam, while fostering is highly recommen…

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Mattson, Ingrid, “Adoption and Fostering: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 29 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0064a>
First published online: 2009

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