The Man I Want to Marry Can’t Have Children

Dear Lulu,

I started dating a guy about a year ago, with my parents knowledge. We have always hoped we would get married, which is why my parents are involved to begin with. When we started our relationship, I remember him jokingly saying, “I can’t have kids, too many sporting accidents!” But it was always in response to me saying, “I want ten kids!” Jokingly, of course (maybe).

Recently we talked about it and I was reminded by him, again, that he can’t have kids. I’m completely in love with this person, but I’ve always known I want to have my own kids and this realization scares me now that I’m seriously looking at my future. I don’t want to end things with him, and I’ve always loved the idea of adoption… But it scares me so much that I may not be able to have my own pregnancy and birth children of my own with the person I love. Looking for some advice, maybe some reassurance.


Hey Suraiya,

First off, let me start by saying, you are an amazing person, and I commend you for thinking things through. Oh! Let’s not forget – thank you for reaching out and being the very first person to officially ask me for advice! Now, back to the real advice. It’s so easy for us to get caught up in the potential fairytale of things when we are falling in love and figuring out where and who we want to spend the rest of our lives, but to be rational is something I think should be recognized .

This is not an easy thing for anyone to answer, but it’s an important topic to face, both within yourself and with the person you are considering marrying. I spent some time researching the issue of infertility in Islam, and what’s important to note, first off, is that we are asked to be straightforward should we know we have any issues with fertility, on either gender side, going into the marriage. So, the fact that the man you are seriously considering was straight up with you about that is a good thing.

It doesn’t change the situation, though. This is a decision you will have to undertake on your own – only you can say whether having blood-related children means more to you than the future with this particular man, who you say you have strong feelings for. Take time to dig deep, pray salatul istikhaara, and have some one on one time with God in figuring out whether, if it happened to be the case, adoption would truly work for you in this situation.

It’s important to keep in mind throughout all this that marriage is the decision that shapes the rest of your life. I can give you a formulaic yes or no answer, but that would mean that I am really not recognizing just how personal and important the decision of who you spend your life with, and that’s just not fair.

Of course, the more practical things to do in this case are to have him go to fertility specialists and figure out whether infertility is the only prescription for his future. Artificial insemination has been ruled allowable in Islam, but only if the contributing factors are from the married couple. But this is all something that you will need to undertake once you’ve come to the decision of whether or not this person is truly the person for you – because if you are not comfortable with the possibility of life being a little more unconventional than usual, then it is up to you to be honest with yourself, God, and the man you are considering. Period.

“Dear Lulu” part of our Dear MuslimGirl… advice column series. We cover topics that range from the mundane to scandalous, about faith, love, culture, life, and everything in between. For a chance to have your question answered by Lulu, email!