Jewish families can be built in various ways: some people are born with Jewish heritage, others were raised in the Jewish faith, and others convert to Judaism later in life. Adoption adds yet another unique element to these family dynamics.
Here, you can find the information you need to begin your adoption journey.
Adoption Process for Jewish Families
Jewish families will go through the same steps of adoption that other families do: choosing a professional, completing a home study, waiting for a birth mother match or child referral, and ultimately taking their baby home and finalizing their adoption.
Adopting a Child of Jewish Ancestry
Many couples wonder if there are children of Jewish ancestry available for adoption. If this is your wish, you can find services that will work to find homes for Jewish children. Because of the number of Jewish birth mothers and available children, though, there is no guarantee that you can successfully adopt a Jewish child, and this preference may significantly lengthen your wait time.
Raising Your Child as Jewish
As a Jewish family, you always have the option of raising your child in the Jewish faith. If you adopt a child of non-Jewish ancestry or who was not raised in a Jewish home, you can have you child undergo a formal conversion after adoption. At his or her Bar or Bat Mitzvah, your child will choose whether or not to accept this conversion.
Whatever adoption path you are on, you must find an adoption professional who can meet your specific needs.
Choosing an Adoption Professional
You can find adoption professionals that offer services with a focus on the Jewish faith. The professional you choose is an important decision in your adoption process and will depend on many different factors. You should determine your needs, desires, and values when choosing the right professional for you.
For help pursuing an adoption, contact the Jewish Family Services in your area.
Advice for Jewish Adoptive Families
As you move forward in your adoption, keep the following factors in mind:
- Different Jewish communities have different opinions on the adoption of non-Jewish children. Be prepared to explain to others that, even if your child is not of Jewish descent, he or she will be raised with the Jewish faith and values.
- Interfaith families are becoming increasingly common, and religious practices vary from home to home. When you are advertising, be sure to give an accurate view of the ways religion is recognized and practiced in your family.
- The process of converting a child to Judaism may be different depending on age. For guidance on this topic, speak to your rabbi or Jewish adoption professional.
Jewish Adoption Resources
Consult the following resources to help you along on your adoption journey:
- Jewish Child and Family Services – Offers guidance adoption support as well as general childcare and family support.
- Hebrew Free Loan – Offers up to $15,000 to help you toward your adoption goals.
- International Association of Jewish Free Loans – Offers interest-free loans to Jewish recipients worldwide.