CAIRO: Minister of Family and Population Moushira Khattab said earlier this week that under the new child law, foster families will be allowed to give children their surname without obtaining any legal rights.
The new regulations also apply if a member of the family is non-Egyptian, reported local news. Moreover, Khattab noted that financial assistance for foster families increase when they are marrying the female or funding a project for the male.
At a press conference Monday, Khattab released the regulations of the child law which was approved by the People’s Assembly in June 2008, when she was secretary general of the National Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
Khattab said the child law has been considered a “breakthrough,” and has repeatedly said that she aims to find a foster home for every orphan in Egypt and do away with orphanages which carry a social stigma and can never replace a family and a home.
From a religious perspective, Islamic Sharia prohibits adoption but allows guardianship of orphans.
“Islam allows a family to give an orphan everything from financial support and care, all but the family name,” said Sheikh Saber Taalab, former member of the Islamic Research Center.
“Giving the family name is mixing genealogy which is strictly prohibited and there are many rights which depend on the family name,” he explained, adding that civil and legal rights, such as inheritance, depend on the family name.
Though adoption may not be prohibited for non-Muslims, there will not be an adoption clause in the new personal status law for non-Muslims currently being drafted by the Ministry of Justice.
Amendments to the Child Law in 2008 included the establishment of Child Protection Committees, a ban against the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), raising the minimum marriage age and the establishment of a Ministry for Family and Population.
The child law in general was criticized by the Muslim Brotherhood’s parliamentary bloc for “following a western agenda which contradicts our traditions, our culture and our religion.”