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’ in Islamic law is used to describe a situation similar to adoption, but without the severing of family ties, the transference of inheritance rights, or the change of the child’s family name.   


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BBC World Service,

Amy and Ano are twins, but just after they were born they were taken from their mother and sold to separate families.They found out about each other by chance and as they delved into their past, they realised thousands of babies in Georgia were stolen from hospitals and sold for adoption, some as recently as 2005. Now they want answers.

This qualitative study explores the emotional and social experiences of 10 children, aged 6–11, residing in foster care in Italy before adoption for almost three years. Through semi-structured interviews, the study underlined the needs and expectations of these children, highlighting the necessity for a deeper reflection on the role of foster homes as nurturing and educational communities.

Atamhi Cawayu, Hari Prasad Sacré,

This article analyses the search strategies of first families in Bolivia contesting the separation of their children through transnational adoption. These first parents’ claims to visibility and acknowledgement have remained largely ignored by adoption policy and scholarship, historically privileging the perspectives of actors in adoptive countries, such as adoptive parents and adoption professionals.

Abigail Rose Lindner, Ryan Hanlon,

This is a systematic review of literature published from 2002 to 2022 to assess the differences in outcomes of children and youth who were adopted out of foster care compared to children and youth in foster care (CYFC) who were in other permanency placements (reunified, aged out, long-term foster care). The review yielded twelve (N = 12) studies from Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Changing the Way We Care,

This data collection exercise was commissioned to assess the different types of Kafaalah care arrangements practiced by families and communities in Kilifi, Kenya. It affirms that Kafaalah is a widely known and practiced form of care among the Muslim community in Kilifi County.

Changing the Way We Care,

These illustrations from Changing the Way We Care and the Government of Kenya showcase live community engagement sessions on how to develop Kafaalah messages and promote Kafaalah for family-based care.

Barbara Steck,

This book addresses the psychosocial complexities of adoption from multiple perspectives, including the biological family, adopted child, and adoptive parents. It highlights the must-have sensitivity and tactfulness for recurring discussions of the adoption situation.

Yannick Balk, Georg Frerks, Beatrice de Graaf,

This article investigates the phenomenon and practice of intercountry adoption in the Netherlands from a historical perspective by using applied history methods.

Indian Journal of Law and Legal Research,

This paper assesses the legal regime governing inter-country adoption under the Ethiopian family laws by making a brief comparative study with correspondent provisions of the Chinese family law.

Nancy Rolock, Kevin White, Joan M. Blakey, Kerrie Ocasio, Amy Korsch-Williams, Chelsea Flanigan, Rong Bai, Monica Faulkner, Laura Marra, Rowena Fong,

Using caregiver survey data, this study examined the following questions: (1) What is the prevalence of children or youth living apart (LA)? (2) What are the risk and protective factors at child and family levels that are associated with LA? (3) What is the nature of the relationships between family members among those who have experienced LA? This study re-purposed data from surveys of adoptive parents and guardians of children formerly in foster care in four U.S. states.