Shafaqna (International Shia News Agency) – The Grand Ayatollah Sistani answered some questions regarding adoption. According to Shafaqna the questions and answers are as follows:
Question 1: Are we allowed to adopt children and consider them as our own children?
Answer: It is permissible for a person to adopt a child, but the child is not considered his son or daughter; the child remains a stranger (non-mahram) to him or his wife and he or she does not inherit the person who has adopted him or her.
Question 2: What is the stance of Islam in regards to adopting children and if a child is with the family from his or her early days and develops a bond, do the laws of Mahram and Non-Mahram still have to be observed?
Answer: Adoption in the sense of claiming a child as your own son or daughter and getting an ID card for him or her in your name is not permissible. However, there is no Ishkaal (objection) in taking care of a child, raising him or her and showing love and care which is rather good but the child’s lineage has to be preserved. In addition, developing a bond does not cause Mahramiyat.
Question 3: If a Muslim woman is raped (out of marriage by a stranger), is she permitted to have an abortion?
Answer: No, she is not permitted to have abortion except for when it may cause her an insufferable problem or difficulty. For instance, in the case that she might be killed if her relatives come to know about her pregnancy, she is allowed to have abortion.
Source: Ayatollah Sistani