Programs for Jewish Families
“If we adopt a child who is not Jewish by birth, can we raise him/her as Jewish?”
“What do I tell my child about his/her birth parents' religion and his/her conversion to Judaism?”
“Will my child and family be accepted in our Jewish community?”
Adoption is encouraged and honored within Judaism. Traditional sources teach us that the parent is the one who educates, nurtures, and raises the child, and need not be the one who gave birth to the child.
An adult adoptee once said, “My birth mother gave me life. My adoptive mother gave me everything else, including my love for Judaism.”
Anyone at any age — infant, toddler, older child, or adult — can be converted to Judaism. A rabbi should be consulted regarding what process is most comfortable for your family, and how to acknowledge and accommodate your your child's multicultural heritage. Adoption of a Jewish child by birth is possible, but unlikely. Often, immediate family and relatives provide homes for children. However, we do not discourage you and suggest you consult a rabbi or religious leader to discuss the relevant issues for your family.
Read Kathy Brodsky's article, Meeting the Needs of Jewish Adoptive Families.