Contemporary American Reform Responsa

37. Adoption and Mixed


QUESTION: What is the status of a child whose natural parents

are both Gentiles, who is adopted by a couple where one partner (in this case the husband) is Jewish and the other is not? (Rabbi R. Block, Riverside, CT)

ANSWER: This child

should be treated as any other adopted child, in other words named in the synagogue, with a berit for a male, and if the family desires, tevilah. All this should be done in accordance with the responsum, “Adoption and Adopted Children,” (W. Jacob, American Reform Responsa, #63). As this child has been brought into a mixed marriage, we should be especially careful about her education. The ritual acts at the beginning of life (berit, tevilah, naming) are a prelude to the education of the youngster. In other words, the conversion conducted at the time of infancy would designate this youngster as Jewish and her future education would confirm that Jewishness.

April 1984

If needed, please consult Abbreviations used in CCAR Responsa.