The Benevolent Essence of Kafalah Adoption: A Gift of Care and Community Responsibility
In the realm of child welfare and care, there exists a remarkable alternative to conventional adoption known as Kafalah. Kafalah is an approach to providing care and support to orphaned or abandoned children that is deeply rooted in the principles of community, compassion, and the preservation of biological ties.
Unlike adoption, which creates a legal parent-child relationship and often involves the changing of a child’s identity, Kafalah stands as a testament to a more communal, compassionate, and culturally sensitive way of caring for those in need. In addition, Kafalah unequivocally forbids the negation of biological identities, ensuring that adopted children maintain their connections to their natural parents and biological families.
A Gift of Care, Not Substituting Lineal Descent
One of the key distinctions of Kafalah is that it does not establish a legal parent-child relationship between the child and the caretaker. Instead, it is considered a gift of care. This essential difference highlights the focus on providing love, support, and shelter to a child in need, without seeking to replace the child’s lineage or biological heritage.
Caring for an Abandoned Child: A Communal Responsibility
In many cultures where Kafalah is practiced, caring for an abandoned child is a communal responsibility. This stands in contrast to traditional adoption, which is often seen as a more individualistic process. Kafalah encourages communities to unite to provide a nurturing environment for these vulnerable children.
A Focus on Support and Sponsorship
Kafalah is unique in its emphasis on caring for the child through sponsorship. Instead of transferring legal rights and parental obligations, Kafalah ensures that the child is provided with a loving and supportive environment while preserving their biological ties.
Preserving Biological Ties and Identity
One of the most striking features of Kafalah is the preservation of biological ties and the child’s identity. Children taken into a family under this system continue to maintain their birth name and connections to their birth parents, community, and country. This preservation is in stark contrast to traditional adoption, where the child’s identity is often changed, and they may lose the right to ever meet their biological parents.
A Quasi-Adoptive Relationship
Kafalah often involves placing a truly orphaned child in a family as closely related to their parents as possible. This creates a quasi-adoptive relationship, allowing the child to experience the love and care of a family while still maintaining their biological ties and identity.
Temporary Kinship Care in the Child’s Extended Family
Kafalah may also provide temporary kinship care within the child’s extended family, ensuring that the child remains connected to their familial roots. This approach promotes stability and familiarity in the child’s life while ensuring their emotional well-being.
Sharia-compliant and Non-Business Oriented
Kafalah is deeply rooted in cultural and religious values. It is important to note that adoption, as commonly understood in Western contexts, is prohibited under Sharia law. Kafalah adheres to these principles and maintains the child’s right to birth name and ties to their birth parents, community, and country. Furthermore, it does not create a business out of adoption or adoption services, ensuring that the focus remains on the welfare of the child.
One of the crucial benefits of Kafalah is that the child retains the right of inheritance from their birth parents. This financial security is an important aspect of the child’s future and their ongoing connection to their biological family.