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#1 goldie

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 03:11 AM

If Jews are kind, giving people, I don't understand why it is not commonly accepted in the frum circles for people to adopt. I understand that bH there arent too many Jewish children put up for adoption, compared to non-Jews. Jews are often busy with their own children, assuming they are able to have children by themselves, but why don't Jews adopt non-Jews to do a nice act to humanity,and perhaps the kid they adopt, had he not been adopted would have been messed up but was a possible convert, considering taht a person is not too busy with their own children.

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 05:10 PM

Adopting non-Jewish children is complicated. First, we in general do not encourage creating converts, and so adopting - and subsequently converting - a non-Jewish child is in general only done when the adopting parents have an overweighing reason to do so. Kindliness does not qualify as sufficient reason, because when you consider the greater good, it is not necessarily an act of kindliness to create more converts - neither for the converts nor for the Klall. Being Jewish is great, but it is also comes with tremendous accountability, and it is not easy to say that it would be better for a given person not to remain a Ben Noach and strive to be one of the Chasidei Umos HaOlam. Of course, if Hashem wills someone to be born a Jew, then of course it is a gift, and Hashem, Who is Tov LaKol decided in His wisdom that for that individual, it is best for him to be born Jewish and have the opportunity and the accountability. But we do not consider that the best situation for everyone.

Of course, we do accept converts when they come forward, but we do not encourage it - and certainly we do not randomly convert gentile children.

Plus, adoption, even when appropriate, comes with a colossal collection of complications - Halachic issues such as Yichud and Negiyah with family members (there are different opinions about this), as well as the complex emotional challenges adopted children often encounter. It is not always easy for these children, who, by the way, have the option of becoming non-Jewish again when they turn Bar/Bas MItzvah. Adopted children have a disproportionatly large representation among those off the Derech.

So although for some children, and some families, adoption is a wonderful thing, at other times it may not turn out that way. The issue is more complicated than it seems.

But that's even when adoption is called for. In general, we do not proactively create converts.

#3 puzzles

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:47 PM

Isn't there also a problem (at least, according to some) of adopting a Jewish child, if you don't know who their birth parents are/where they come from, because when it comes time for them to get married, there could be big problems with people getting set up with biological siblings, etc? We have a few family friends who have adopted, and I know they were advised to stay away from Jewish children.

If this is so, I have a couple of questions. First of all, I hear the point, but I don't understand how the issue can be resolved, because if no Jewish person adopts a Jewish child, then how are they supposed to know that they are a part of the am segulah, and what their responsibilities are as a part of that nation? Do we just give up on any Jewish child put up for adoption?

And my second question is, taking into account what you wrote above, is there really any option for a frum couple to adopt? What if they have no children? What if they have children but are unable to have more but feel a need for more? What if they were able to make a tremendous kiddush Hashem by doing so? I suppose the answer to my questions is that this type of thing must be dealt with on a case-to-case basis, and each couple must consult with their Rav, or another competent halachic authority. Correct?

#4 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 05:49 AM

The issue you bring up has nothing to do with adoption per se. The question you are asking is, if a Jewish child does not know who his parents are, how can he get married without being concerned that he may be marrying a prohibited relative? That question is equally valid whether the child is adopted or not. Either way he is still Jewish and still has that concern.

Sometimes they do know who the real parents are, and so that takes care of the problem. And if they do not, there is Halachic complications sometimes. More likely than the possibility of marrying siblings, is the possibility of Mamzeirus, or Safek Mamzeirus, the simplest case being the birth of a child from a divorcee who never received a Get from her first husband (and even if he wasn't married al pi din, it is still a safek).

All this is true, and it makes adopting a non-Jewish child and converting him simpler because it erases his past and he is born anew.

But if someone wants to adopt a Jewish child despite the difficulties involved it is a great Mitzvah. לפום צערא אגרא

#5 FS613

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:40 PM

Is Mamzeirus passed down permanently from generation to generation,

or does it last only for a certain number of generations?

Thank you.

#6 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:28 PM

Is Mamzeirus passed down permanently from generation to generation,

or does it last only for a certain number of generations?

Thank you.

It continues indefinitely.