Q.| What is the religious rule governing the adoption of children who lack a guardian? Are the rules pertaining to the relation between adoptive parents and children, especially as regards the issue of being maḥram or non-maḥram, the same as those of biological parents and children?
A.| Adopting children, provided that the pertinent religious rules and government regulations are observed, is a praiseworthy and commendable act. However, the canonic rules pertaining to the relation between adoptive children and parents are not the same as those that govern the relation between biological parents and children, and adoptive children are not inherently maḥram relative to the adoptive parent of the opposite gender. Yet, in most cases there are canonically sanctioned routes that adoptive parents can pursue in order to render their adoptive children maḥram.