Adoption and Kafala

Adoption is the formal, permanent transfer of parental rights to a family other than a child’s own and the formal assumption by that family of all parenting duties for the child. Where a child’s parents are living and their parental rights have not been terminated, they must provide informed consent for adoption. In some countries it is not culturally acceptable to give the parental rights to a non-family member, and therefore alternative long-term care options must be pursued e.g. kinship care. In some Islamic countries, the term ‘Kafala’ of Islamic law is used to describe a situation similar to adoption, but not necessarily with the severing of family ties, the transference of inheritance rights, or the change of the child’s family name.