Re: Adoption
Tue, 8 Apr 1997 10:18:05 -0400 (EDT)

JY <> wrote:
<< I have only read the Forum as it has been mailed to me, and have found
it to be very informative and thought provoking. I do have a few questions
I'd like to ask. First: How is an adopted child viewed (halachadly
speaking) in terms of being a true Jew, if the birth religion is unknown?
If the adoptee is a female and has children (Jewish husband,) boys raised
Jewish, how are they viewed? >>

An adopted child who is born of non-jewish parents must be converted in a
mikveh. The child is actually dipped in the water by the adoptive father
in front of a bet din, at about 6 weeks of age. (you blow in the babies
face and they naturally hold their breath, then dip QUICKLY!!). A boy's
conversion is almost complete when he is circumsized in front of a bet-din,
however he must reconfirm his acceptance of the laws of Judaism at

Since the adoptive parents (Jewish) are bringing the child up jewishly, the
child then has a CHOICE. He can either accept the Torah or (g-d forbid)
reject it. Once he affirms his acceptance at bar mitzvah - he is now a
full fledged Jew. The exception is that he does not carry the status of
Cohen or Levi of his adopted father. The girl is converted at birth in a
mikveh and she also has a CHOICE to re-affirm at her bat-mitzvah.

Once either of these children complete these steps they SHOULD be regarded
as Jewish in every sense.

I remember when I adopted my children some one told me a sweet story which
I've never forgotten. It goes something like this: When Hashem offered
the Torah to all the different nations before offering it to the 'Jewish'
people, there were some people in each nation who wanted to accept it,
however they were in the minority.

These are the children who come up for adoption sort of like a second
opportunity to be Jewish. Nice. I smile when I look at my kids and think
of them.

your pal,