Children of ''others'' - An analysis of social and legal boundaries of child adoption in Iran
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Social as well as legal barriers hinder child adoption in Iran, making it a rather unpopular alternative for the interested couples, while depriving children without caretakers from being raised in a family. These boundaries have been often related to religious beliefs, cultural norms and laws, but have been rarely studied and their interconnections are not adequately explored. The term “child adoption” in the way as it is recognized today in the western world has been sufficiently accounted for, neither in the Islamic doctrine nor in the Iranian law. In this research, I critically explore and extract the main social as well as legal roots of this issue while having a glimpse at religious barriers as an additional study theme. It is expected that by exploring the legal, religious and social boundaries (my main study themes), we gain a better understanding of the realities of child adoption in Iran. This thesis employs document analysis as its main method for forming a theoretical framework and extracting findings. All the facts and findings are then organized and critically compared to each other across the three main themes, in order to draw analytical conclusions. The related academic community, children in need of care takers, youth and family organizations, and all those who are interested to gain an indepth knowledge about the actualities of child adoption in Iran, and maybe other similar Islamic countries, may find use in the final conclusions of this study.