If a mother gives her child up for adoption to one of her relatives, does she have the right to take it back at a later point due to a disagreement?


A woman voluntarily gave her child [up for adoption] to the wife of her husband’s elder brother. Many years later, when a dispute arose between the two families, a letter from the mother regarding her demand for the return of the child was received by Hazrat Amirul Momineen, Khalifatul Masih Vaa

Huzooraa, in a letter dated 24 June 2020, gave the following instructions and guidance regarding this issue: 

“In dealings with ordinary worldly goods, when a person gives one of his belongings to someone of his own free will, then the demand for the return of that thing is frowned upon. Children are not counted among such worldly goods, but when a person gives their child to someone of their own free will and another person keeps the child as their own, then the demand for the child’s return is not morally acceptable. Hence, the Jamaat’s qaza [arbitration council], after reviewing all the circumstances, has passed the judgement that the demand of the birth mother for the return of her child is not valid.

“In my opinion, if the child is over nine years old, then the matter should be decided according to the jurisprudential principle of khiyar al-tamyeez, that is the child should be asked who they want to be with. The child should then be allowed to stay wherever they indicate [the willingness] to go voluntarily and happily. 

“May Allah the Exalted grant wisdom and understanding to both of the families. May you consider piety and the fear of God Almighty and end these disputes by giving up your legitimate rights for each other, only for the sake of Allah. Amin.”

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