After weeks of public objections to the Iranian Parliament’s approving a new bill which would make it possible for foster parents to marry their adopted children, Iran’s Guardian Council decided in favor of the bill last week and approved its passage as the modified law for “Protection of Children and Adolescents with no Guardian [adoption law].” The Guardian council did not find this modified law incompatible with Islamic Sharia and the Iranian Constitution. (source)
The law was originally approved by the Iranian Parliament in 2009 and at that time, marriage of foster parents and adoptive children was strictly forbidden, but the Guardian Council had found this law incompatible with Sharia and the Iranian Parliament modified the bill to allow for the marriage through permission obtained from a judge.
The issue has to do with the Islamic Sharia’s hijab requirement for men and women who are not members of each other’s immediate family through blood. An adopted daughter is expected to wear the hijab in front of her father, and a mother should wear it in front of her adopted son.
Human and children’s rights groups hold that the bill all but legalizes incest. “You cannot pave a way in which the role of a father or a mother can be mixed with that of a spouse,” said Shiva Dolatabadi, Head of Iran’s Society to Protect Children’s Rights, Sharq Newspaper reported. “Children can’t be safe in such a family.”
In an interview with Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA), Mohammad Nafrieh, the Deputy-Social Affairs for the State Welfare Organization said: “Contrary to the current discussion, this amendment in fact puts a stop to the possibility of marriage between foster parents and their adopted children…I can tell you that such marriages are not as rare as one might think. We have had cases like these in the past and based on the informatio I have, I consider this amendment to be a step forward which can reduce the number of such marriages in the country.” The State Welfare Organization, however, did not provide any statistics about the number of such marriages.