Relationships between Parents and Children
Q: Asalam Alaykum sheikh. If a child’s biological parents are in prison after committing a serious crime and that child was adopted at the age of 12, is that child, Islamically, obligated to maintain a relationship with those parents?
If a child’s adopted parents aren’t Muslim and aren’t supportive not just of her faith but also of her mental health, is she still required to keep a relationship with them?
A: It depends on the level of harm involved and what is intended by “relationship”. Allah has commanded us to do good to our parents, regardless of whether they are Muslims or not. If our parents are causing harm to us physically, mentally, or spiritually, then we can limit our ties with them to the amount that would eradicate such harm. That said, adopted parents do not have the same status as biological parents in Islam, therefore duties towards them are not the same.