Below are readers' questions about 'Adoption', which we have chosen to answer. More detailed information on 'Adoption' can be found on our main website, Family Law in Israel.

Adoption of someone over 18 is possible, as an exception, under the Adoption of Children Act, 1981. Our legal practice, has successfully handled cases of adoption of an adult in similar circumstances.

No! A family member –such as a biological child – has no legal standing to apply to cancel an adoption order between adoptive parents who have passed away and the adoptee,the non-biological sibling. Furthermore ,Israeli courts will not encourage such action when it is clear that the driving force behind it is a desire to deprive the adoptee of his inheritance rights. These points were made clear by Beersheva Family Court in 2017 which threw out such an application, and ordered substantial costs against the adult biological child, who had applied to cancel the adoption order relating to his non-biological brother within the context of an inheritance battle.

Yes - you need to apply to open up your adoption file via the Child's Service Bureau ("Sherut LeMan Hayeled") in the area where you live.

Possibly, through a joint application for legal adoption at the family court, the success of which will depend on the circumstances! If for example, you were a young child when your mother remarried, and her second husband has been a father-figure to you, consistently over the years, the greater your chances. An attempt will be made to establish contact with your biological father and ascertain his viewpoint , as part of the legal process, and the State’s response (represented by the General Custodian) will also be required. Our law practice has experience in adult adoption proceedings.

Adoption within the enlarged family is possible, in certain circumstances.

Yes – in August 2013 the Supreme Court reversed two judgments, of Petach Tikva Family Court, and the Central (Lod) District Court, declaring an Ethiopian baby adoptable. It ordered the transfer of the child, aged 2, from the non-Ethiopian foster parents who had raised him admirably, since birth, to his maternal aunt. In a majority decision the Supreme Court held in Civil Appeal 4486/13 on 27.8.13 that closed intercultural adoption was against the child’s best interests, when adoption by a blood relative was an option. Severing him from his Ethiopian heritage and identity, in a closed adoption, by non-Ethiopian foster parents,who wished to adopt him, while his mother, who suffered from mental illness, wanted him to be adopted by her sister, who passed parental capability tests,in open adoption, was against the minor’s interests, the court held, emphasizing that neither the mother or the aunt had ever abandoned the baby, or the legal battle.

Update- ruling reversed!

Subsequently, however, the case was heard again, before an enlarged panel of Supreme Court judges, and the decision reversed. The original family court judgment was reinstated, stressing that it was in the child's interest to remain with the adoptive family who had raised him since birth, and separating him from them would not be in his wellbeing, even if the adoptive parents were not of the same ethnic origin.

Yes, this is now possible under Israel law, if , in the circumstances of the case, this would be in the child's good. Previously, single sex adoption was not permitted, but following a precedent setting decision, it is now possible.

If single, gay adoption is legal in the country where you adopt the child,and the actual adoption was carried out according to law, then in principle, then you should be able to register the adoption at the Ministry of Interior in Israel.If you have difficulty, you can bring legal action against the refusal. The legal barriers under Israeli law preventing adoption on the grounds of sexual orientation alone have now been lifted.

Yes, if this is held to be in the child's good, as following Israeli court precedent it is no longer permissible to discriminate against a potential adoptive parent because he/she is homosexual or lesbian.

Usually, but there are exceptions which allow the court to grant an adoption order even if a biological parent objects.

In principle , according to the 1981 Child Adoption Act, a female candidate for adoption has to be a married woman, though there are exceptions in which a single person can adopt, for example, where both parents are killed, and an unmarried relative wishes to adopt, or where a parent or adoptive parents dies, and the surviving partner applies. It is now also possible for a Lesbian woman to adopt her female partner's child.