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Dear Rabbi: An Adoption and Conversion Question

Dear Rabbi,

Could you please tell me what the position of a child would be in Jewish law if it were adopted by a Jewish couple from a non-Jewish mother?



Dear Curious,

According to Jewish law, one is Jewish if born to a Jewish mother or if converted to Judaism. That means that the biological child of a non-Jewish woman would need to convert to Judaism if adopted to be part of a Jewish family.

By the way, adopting a child is considered a good deed and a religious act of the very highest order.

Best wishes,

Rabbi Artson

Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation.
Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson

Rabbi Bradley Shavit Artson serves as the Dean of the Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies, and is the author of The Bedside Torah.

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