In new fatwa, Turkey's top religious body says foster families can marry adopted quake children

Turkey's top religious body Diyanet has once again issued a controversial fatwa saying that there is no obstacle for foster families to marry the adopted earthquake-survivor children. The fatwa was deleted upon reactions.

Duvar English

Turkey’s top religious body (Diyanet) opened a special section on its fatwa website about the earthquakes and answered the question, “Can children of earthquake victims be adopted?” The fatwa stated that it is not right to treat adopted children like their own children and that "there is no barrier to marriage between the adopter and the adopted child," according to reporting by the daily Birgün.

When a citizen, judge, or government asks a query on a matter of Islamic law, a qualified Islamic jurist issues a fatwa as an answer. Diyanet, as the top religious body, holds the authority to issue fatwas on “debated” issues and is often on the agenda with its controversial answers.

According to Diyanet, although Islam recommends “the care and protection of orphaned children,” it does not recognize the institution of adoption, which has certain legal consequences. The fatwa said, “Accordingly, the relationship between the adopter and the adopted child does not create a barrier to marriage, nor is it permissible for the adopted child to be registered in the genealogy of the adopters instead of their biological parents.”

After a while, upon the reactions on social media, Diyanet deleted the relevant page on the website. Nonetheless, the religious body defended the fatwa in a later press release. 

According to Diyanet, the statements in the fatwa were “taken out of context” and “interpreted in a way to open the door for ugly connotations.”

Nonetheless, the new release again advocated that foster children are not included in the relationships forbidden for marriage in Islamic law. Diyanet said, “Many legal consequences arising from the blood relationship between a child and their biological family do not occur in foster and adoptive relationships.”

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