Adoption involves a process of severing ties with a biological family and creating new ones with an adopting family. Closed adoption is designed to eradicate those ties completely and to allow a child to live as if he or she were the natural child of the adoptive parent. Open adoption prevents that suppression of the original ties. Adopted children are increasingly seeking access to their genealogical history. Jewish tradition does not sanction the suppression of parental identity. The result is a strong bias in favor of open adoption. Religious teaching governing conduct between men and women underscores the distinction between natural and adoptive families. For purposes of effective therapy, those cultural factors must be recognized in assessing problems and may also be harnessed in effecting a positive therapeutic outcome.
In Journal of Jewish Communal Service, v.73 no.4, Summer 1997.