Adoption

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The Gemara Sanhedrin 19b says that anyone who raises a child it is as though he gave birth to him. Rav Soloveitchik (quoted in Chavrusa Nissan 5742) suggested that raising someone else’s child is a partial fulfillment of the mitzvah of Pru Urevu (reproduction) and bases it on the Rambam (Ishut 15:3). See Chachmat Shlomo EH 1:1 who agrees with this approach.

  1. The child raised by someone else has a strong moral obligation to respect his adopted parents possibly with even greater than the respect displayed by children towards their biological parents. [1]
  2. An adopted child should say Kaddish for his adopted father. [2]
  3. The Lubavitcher Rebbe (quoted in Otzer HaPoskim EH vol 9, pg 130 and 263) raised the issue of Yichud and Negiyah between a boy and his adopted mother. Dvar Yehoshua 3:16 and Chazon Ish (quoted by Peni HaDor vol 3 pg 40) were strict on this issue. However, Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer and Rav Soloveitchik quoted by Rav Melech Schachter in RJJ Journal (vol 4, pg 96) were lenient on these issues.

Sources

  1. Rav Melech Schachter in RJJ Journal (vol 4, pg 94) based on Shemot Rabba chapter 4
  2. Rav Melech Schachter in RJJ Journal (vol 4, pg 95) based on Beiur Halacha (end of 132) and Sdei Chemed (Avielut 156). See also Chatom Sofer OC 164.