Iran passes law allowing fathers to marry their adopted teen daughters

Published: Sep 27, 2019, 15:15 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Iran

A new law in Iran allows men to marry their adopted daughters at the age of 13. This law opens the door for the caretaker to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the child

This picture has been used for representational purpose
This picture has been used for representational purpose

A new law in Iran allows men to marry their adopted daughters at the age of 13. Activists have expressed concern stating that the bill which was approved by parliament on Sunday, opens the door for the caretaker to marry his or her adopted child if a court rules it is in the interests of the child. To the dismay of rights campaigners, girls in the Islamic republic can marry at the age of 13 with the permission of their father while the boys can marry after the age of 15, reported the Guardian.

Iran's Guardian Council, a body of jurists and clerics that vets all parliamentary bills before the constitution and the Islamic law, has yet to issue its verdict on this controversial legislation. A human rights lawyer with the London-based group Justice for Iran, Shadi Sadr quoted to the Guardian that, "This bill is legalizing pedophilia. It's not part of the Iranian culture to marry your adopted child. Obviously incest exists in Iran more or less as it happens in other countries across the world, but this bill is legalizing pedophilia and is endangering our children and normalizing this crime in our culture."

She added, "You should not be able to marry your adopted children, full stop. If a father marries his adopted daughter who is a minor and has sex, that's rape." According to Sadr, officials in the country have tried to play down the sexual part of such marriages, saying it is in the bill to solve the issue of hijab complications when a child is adopted.

Sadr also added, "With this bill, you can be a pedophile and get your bait in the pretext of adopting children. Some experts believe the new bill is contradictory to Islamic beliefs and would not pass the Guardian Council. Head of Iran's society for protecting children's rights, Shiva Dolatabadi has also raised concerns that the bill implies that the parliament is legalising incest. "You cannot open a way in which the role of a father or a mother can be mixed with that of a spouse. Children can't be safe in such a family."

Also Read: Man marries both girlfriends together as he didn't want to hurt them

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