Q. My question is if a couple decided to adopt a child, what are the restrictions to both parent and child? By this I mean in terms of:
1) at what age/period should the child be told that he/she was indeed adopted?
2) if the child is a boy, when he reaches the age of puberty, does his mother now have to wear hijab in his presence?
3) if the child is female, does she now have to wear hijab in front of her father once she reaches the age of puberty also?
A. 1) This can be told to the child when he/she reaches an age of proper understanding and discernment. This age may vary with individuals, you will have to determine as to what age is good with different individuals (as it is connected to having proper understanding and discernment).
2) When the boy (child) reaches the age of puberty, then the woman should wear hijab in his presence. If however, the woman has nursed the child, then she does not have to wear hijab in front of him, since in this case she will be the foster mother.
3) When the girl (child) reaches the age of puberty, then she will have to wear hijab in front of the man who adopted her. However, if the man’s wife nursed (suckled) the girl, then she will not be required to wear hijab in front of the man, since, in this case he will be her foster father.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan