Egypt, as well as many other Muslim countries, takes a contrasting to conventional position regarding fostering practices. In this area, official adoption is occasional, and fostering practices are usually accomplished in a concealed manner on account of a religious philosophy which is based on a vital importance of blood connections. Despite the fact that looking after orphans is appraised and spiritually rewarded by Islam, official adoption, wherein a child gets to be a lasting part of a family, is disallowed and is considered a socially troublesome type of a familial connection.
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In metropolitan areas in Egypt, especially vital is the idea that family members should be related by blood lineage (Riley and Van Vleet, 2011). In cases with no apparent genealogical connection, Egyptians fear that a parent-child interaction will be blocked (Zuhur, 1992). Furthermore, Inhorn (2006), conducted more than two hundred interviews with males in Lebanon concerning male comprehension of in vitro fertilization as well as adoption. The author notices that the majority of individuals “could not accept the idea of social fatherhood-arguing that an adopted or donor child ‘won’t be my son’” (p.98). As one of Muslim gentlemen states:
If we adopt, we wouldn’t really feel comfortable looking at this child, given that he’s not our biological child. When he grows up, we would have to tell him honestly that he’s not our child. Then his psychology would be affected. He wouldn’t feel that hopeful. There would be a “gap” because he’s not our child. If you have your own biological child, you will feel differently. He is your own child, so you feel attached (Inhorn, 2006, p. 105).
In accordance with Quran, children who are accepted by a different family are unable to inherit from their new parents, cannot receive their new fathers’ family names in a vast majority of cases, and also are not recognized as offspring of their new parents (Riley and Van Vleet, 2011). What is more, adoption tends to render other ethical considerations questionable. Even though a lady is not commonly required to veil herself inside her own place of residence or in front of close male family members, she would be required to veil herself in front of her adopted son due to the fact that he is formally not a male family member. A father would not have a chance to touch his newly adopted daughter when she becomes older because of rigid ethical constraints (Inhorn, 2006).
Therefore, the issue of an adopted child being negatively impacted is very much associated with perception that primary genealogical connections both result in and call for varied types of sentiments and measures (Riley and Van Vleet, 2011). On top of that, even though Quran promotes concern for orphans, the majority of them are deemed as unlawful offspring of single individuals and, consequently, as morally impure (Inhorn, 2006). As one female participant of the study claims, “if you bring a child from the orphanage, you don’t know its origins. And no matter how good of an environment it grows up in, it still has its parents’ blood. And if they’re bad, it can go back to its origins [be bad too]” (Inhorn, 1996, p. 91).
A large number of Egyptians are convinced that taking in a child triggers serious challenges inside adopting household as a result of the ways in which moral identity is connected with blood. Various other issues are also considered brought with a child due to a more typical focus on blood in reflecting the welfare of Muslim households and community position along with interactions in general (Riley and Van Vleet, 2011). Irrespective of these complications, families sometimes manage to foster small children who are not their blood relations due to a variety of reasons. They include spiritual encouragements related to significance of looking after orphans, little knowledge among Egyptians of prohibitions connected with official adoption, and a strong desire to bring up a baby as one’s personal child. A lot of these foster care measures turned out to be long-lasting (Riley and Van Vleet, 2011).
Ladies who are sterile come to understand that the presence of a child in the house, even if not by means of an official adoption, helps reduce the pressure from the stigma of childlessness. Inhorn (1996) provides an account of a lady who, incapable of having a biological baby and grieving over the absence of offspring, concurs to contemplate adopting a little boy living in an orphanage. For the boy to be acknowledged by her husband’s relatives, she claims that she has birthed the boy herself. The acknowledgement of the child by her family members could have resulted from their openness to neglect the low probability that the adopting woman had birthed the child, since the baby was one year old at the moment of adoption. However, as Inhorn (1996) documented, the end result was optimistic for both the baby, who was not likely to be adopted from an orphanage in any other case, and also the parents, who had so anxiously dreamt of a baby.
Even though plenty of people support children in orphanages, quite few of them could communicate enthusiasm to adopt children. What is more, Inhorn (2006) likewise provides an account of a Palestinian individual from Lebanon, who happened to get married in the latter part of his life. His wife and he were experiencing problems with child conception, and he conveys the viewpoint that he would prefer to adopt rather than continue living without a baby.
As for adoption, yes, why not? . . . So even though you raise a kid who is not originally your kid, with time, he’ll get used to you and you to him, and he will be like your kid. . . . A human being is a human being. And I love children – any child. I can, I think, feel pleasure to have any child. Sometimes I feel myself a father of any child (Inhorn, 2006, p. 109).
Inhorn (2006) indicates that this person's practical knowledge of refugee camps in addition to his understanding of the amount of orphaned and disadvantaged children formed his rather uncommon among Muslims perspective on adoption.
To sum up, spiritual guidelines in relation to adoption and a person's or a couple’s motivation to take in a little child might evoke more cases of compromising solutions and make it possible for orphaned and abandoned children to be accepted into new households in the Middle East.
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