Islam has a rich tradition of fostering as the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was an orphan himself and was raised by his grandfather and paternal uncle. Later in life, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) became an adoptive father himself.
There are an unprecedented number of verses in the Qur’an that refer to the spiritual benefits of caring for an orphan child and many foster children have no parents or if they do have parents who are living they are unable to care for them.
However, it is often a misconception that in Islam fostering is not allowed. This is far from the truth as Muslims are encouraged to undertake this noble act if they have the means to do so.
Many people are under the perception that there are enough foster carers in the Muslim community to look after a child. However, there is actually a shortfall of foster carers from the Muslim community and more are needed to aid in providing an environment which a Muslim child can relate to and adhere to their religious needs.
Another myth that is often prevalent is that foster carers are only there for financial compensation. This is the most testing myth because many people fail to realise how much dedication, time, love and commitment that goes into foster caring. Money is not a sole factor in fostering a child and should never be a main motivation because the most important aspect of fostering a child is to transform the child’s life for the better with sincere devotion.
Many foster carers are concerned that there is not enough training or support for both potential foster carers or existing ones. However, the Muslim Foster Network along with other fostering organisations provide immense support, literature and events that aim to give potential foster carers and existing ones the information they need to have a healthy fostering journey.