Cleric: Guardian’s marriage with adopted child religiously disgraced

Holy Qom, Oct 26, IRNA – A guardians’ marriage with his adopted child is seriously disgraced from the viewpoint of the Islamic jurisprudence, the head of Infallible Imams (P) Jurisprudence Center said on Saturday.

Ayatollah Mohammad-Javad Fazel-Lankarani referred to Article 27 of a recently ratified law at the Iranian Islamic Parliament on supporting the children and young adults with no parents, or with no-good parents.

He expressed regret that the Parliament had not done sufficient research on the issue prior to passing the law.

The ayatollah said, “It would be appropriate for the parliament’s commission to consult with the other experts and jurists before taking such bills to the plenary sessions of the Parliament.”

He emphasized, “From the viewpoint of the Islamic jurisprudence such an act is seriously disgraced and demoted; in Shi’a jurisprudence such a marriage is seriously discouraged, and very likely, in accordance with few authentic sayings, it is even religiously forbidden (Haraam).”

Ayatollah Fazel-Lankarani reiterated, “There are very clear narrations in the jurisprudence, related to the time of the infallible imams (P), when they had been asked and they had defined the religion’s verdict on the point.

He set example, “When the imams (P) were asked whether it would be permitted in religion for a man to marry the woman who helped his mother give birth to him, the reply was negative.”

Fazel-Lankarani accordingly reasoned, “The emphasis (on being forbidden of such a marriage) is so strong that the infallible imam (P) says in addition to being forbidden of marrying a midwife, even marrying the daughter of that midwife, too, is forbidden for the child in whose birth she has assisted.”

Elaborating on the reason why such a marriage is forbidden in religion, in accordance with Islamic sayings, he said, “That is because a midwife is partially involved in nurturing of the child.”

Fazel-Lankarani stressed, “This can a lot more strongly be said about a foster father, or mother, too, and even if such marriages are not totally forbidden, they are strongly discouraged and disgraced, and the infallible Imams have stalwartly discouraged their offsprings from such marriages.”

He criticized the Social Affairs Commission of the Iranian Islamic Parliament for having not asked an expert in the field before approving of such a disgraceful practice.

Ayatollah Fazel-Lankarani also elaborated on the philosophy of marriage in religion, which is the union of two souls, arguing that even from this point of view an adopted child cannot have such a relationship with her foster father.

“Therefore, such a practice is also in direct contrast with the objective of marriage in religion,” he said, “which is meant to be a sacred union.”

The ayatollah also mentioned that the holy Islamic jurisprudence in many cases stresses the need to respect the good traditions in societies.

He added, “The marriage of a guardian with an adopted child is also against the norms and traditions of our society, which is another reason why it is discouraged by our logical and fully sensible Islamic Shi’a jurisprudence.”

The legislation, titled “Protection of Children and Adolescents with no guardian (adoption),” was approved by parliament last winter. It was lost, however, in the midst of pre- and post- election excitement. It was only a letter of protest, written by a women’s rights activist, which called the attention of the media to this issue.

In the early days of this controversy, a few of the more famous reformist newspapers, such as Sharq Newspaper, thought that marriage between a foster father and his adopted daughter had been previously banned in Iran. Parliament, with its majority of fundamentalist members, had tried to amend this law.

However, this is not the real story; the real story is more complex.

In mid-February 2013, an act was passed by the parliament on 'Protection of Children and Adolescents with no guardian (adoption).' In the original act, approved by parliament, marriage between adopted children and their parents was completely banned and it stated that if a foster parent decided to marry his or her adopted child, custody of the child would be taken away from the foster parent.

The Guardian Council, however, claimed that this bill was against Sharia and returned it to parliament.

Because the Guardian Council denied a bill allowing an official ban of this type of marriage, the Parliament modified the original bill so that marriage between foster parents and their adopted children could take place, however only if it were approved by a judge.

Also, according to Title 27 of the revised act, marriage between adopted children and their foster parents could only take place if it were requested by the State Welfare Organization and approved by the court.

The Guardian Council has not voted on this revised bill yet.