In Lebanon, adoption is a religious occurrence. Because of this, any adoption proceedings are supervised by church and religious authorities. However, under Shari’a law, traditional adoptions, as we know them in the United States, are not allowed in Lebanon.
Instead, guardianship can be granted. After guardianship of the child has been attained, the potential adoptive parents can finalize the adoption in the United States. If the orphanage is a Christian institution instead of under Shari’a law, adoption is recognized and embraced. If the child is Catholic, one of the parents must also be Catholic. Prospective adoptive parents must be at least 40 years old and 18 years older than the child, in most cases. Armenian Orthodox adoptions require the age difference to be at least 15 years. In 2011, four children were adopted from Lebanon.