June 3rd, 2007
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The topic of “Adoption in Israel” can be summed up with one word: hard. If you thought adopting in the United States was difficult, adopting in Israel is even harder.

People have often asked me why we don’t look into adopting a child from Israel. The answer: We can’t. Israel, like many other countries, does not allow their children to be “adopted out” to foreign countries.

So what if you live in Israel or move to Israel? If you have recently moved to Israel, all the sources I have spoken with state that you must be living in the country for a minimum of three years before you are allowed to formally look into the issue. For probably the same reasons that there are relatively few Jewish babies available for adoption in the United States, there are also only a small number of babies available for adoption in Israel each year. Many Israelis, for that reason, choose to adopt internationally. Even going with that route, there is a specific list of approved agencies that the Israeli government has given the okay to work with.

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Here’s a recent interesting article from Haaretz – an Israeli newspaper – detailing one man’s search for his biological mother.

I also came across this piece giving a quick overview of Israeli adoption, but focusing more on general issues facing adoptive families.

Edited to add: Somehow, my guess is that Anna managed to push the button to publish this post before I meant to. I had it open on my desktop for some time as I looked for this link again – an interesting paper that looks at inter-country adoption policy, using Israel as a case study. It is a good read for anyone interested in adoption in Israel, as well as the general background and ideas of global international adoption.

4 Responses to “Adoption in Israel”

  1. rakefet says:

    Naomi,
    I’m an adoptive mother of two children, living in Israel. I enjoy reading your blog. Both of my children were adopted internationally because I didn’t meet certain standards to adopt locally. Yes, it is hard to adopt here, but I believe that adoption is difficult everywhere. To me what you are currently doing — parenting a child without knowing whether or not you will be allowed to adopt him — seems impossibly hard.
    No, Israel does not allow it’s children to be adopted abroad. That’s because so many couples are waiting for each baby who becomes available here.
    Also it should be noted that in Israel fertility treatment is free for a couples first 2 children. So couples who try fertility treatment before taking the adoption rout may be physically and emotionally exhausted, but at least they are not financially exhausted.
    So is adoption hard here? Yes. Is it harder than in other places? I’m not sure. Is it possible? Absolutely!

  2. sethnegev says:

    My wife and i are over 45. She has three older girls. We applied for adoption and even through we are willing to adpot children over five child welfare office still said it could be a two year wait , do you hav any suggestions

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