In the article Placing Muslim Orphans Into Real Homes, a member of the board of an adoptive agency makes the astonishing claim that Muslims should adopt children, ideally, of course, through the author’s agency. I believe this is referred to as a “conflict of interest” if not a “profit motive”. I replied on the site to the article, but it has not made its way through the approval filter. Here it is in its (short) entirety.
The issue I have with articles such as this one is that they offer up a stark binary of “either adoption” or “horrific institutionalized care”. It is strange to me as an adoptee returned, and in reunion, and converted back to Islam, that no mention is made of the 100s of references to the orphan within the Qur’an. Why is adoption the answer, when there are, in fact, orphanage systems that take care of children through university, and at the same time, adhere to the Qur’anic proscriptions that a child should know her filiation, should keep his name, and should stay within her community?
The idea that adoption is a “progressive” act and it is the “backwards” Muslim-majority countries who have yet to catch up with the so-called modern world is one of the worst aspects of pro-adoption mythology that we hear day in and day out. As I wrote in a conference paper entitled: “Islamophobia and Adoption: Who Are the Civilized?”, this particular trope has been taken up by a variety of “House Muslims” (to kindly put it) who would see their places of origin opened up to economic and political exploitation, up to and including the plunder of their children.
Simply because there is a growing bourgeois community that sees fit to mimic Anglo-Saxon practices of treating children legally speaking as property should not leave us catering to their sense of entitlement and privilege. It should, instead, force us to re-evaluate our society, our community, and our family lives in order to see where it is that we have failed in this regard. For adoption is not the sign of a beneficent and charitable society. Quite on the contrary, it is the manifestation of a sick and decrepit one. For the century or so that adoption has been practiced, the greater problems of inequality, poverty, hunger, and communal breakdown still remain. No matter how palliative it is to place Band-Aids on the cancer patient, adoption is not the answer.
L’enfant adoptée, by YÀZ [link]
Islamophobia and Adoption: Who Are the Civilized? [link]
Islamophobia and Adoption: Who Are the Civilized? (Journal of Social Distress and the Homeless) [link]