Adoption-The Mitzvah and Halachic ramifications-Part 2-Yichud, Hugging, Informing

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Adoption-The Mitzvah and Halachic ramifications-Part 2

Yichud and affectionate touch [hugging and kissing]:[1] It is forbidden for a parent and an adopted child of opposite gender to be in Yichud, or hug and kiss, once the child reaches the age of Yichud, [which is three years old for a girl and nine years old for a boy[2]].[3] However, some Poskim[4] have been Milameid Zechus for those who are lenient in this matter if they were adopted prior to them reaching the age of Yichud prohibition. Practically, most Poskim[5] completely negate this opinion, and the Rebbe’s position on this matter was clear, that Yichud and hugging and kissing between the adoptive parent and child is forbidden irrelevant as to the age of the child when the adoption took place.[6] The Rebbe pressed for this matter to be publicized. Practically, most God-fearing adoptive parents are careful in this matter.[7]

Informing the child that they are adopted: The Poskim[8] rule that one is required to reveal to the child that he is adopted when he reaches of age. This applies even if the child was adopted from Jewish parents in order to prevent incest and applies certainly to a gentile born child in order so he can accept his conversion upon becoming an adult. However, from some sources it is possible to learn that there is no obligation to reveal to the Jewish born child that he is adopted.[9] Nonetheless, it is possible that the sources refer only to a lack of necessity to publicize the matter to others and not to a lack of necessity to inform the child himself.


[1] See Nishmas Avraham ibid 3

[2] See Michaber E.H. 22:11; Nishmas Avraham ibid 4

[3] Otzer Haposkim 9:130-132 in name of the Rebbe and many Gedolei Haposkim; Minchas Yitzchak 9:140; Shevet Halevi 5:205-8; 6:196; Devar Halacha 7:20 in name of Chazon Ish; Devar Yehoshua 3 E.H. 16-17; Divrei Yatziv E.H. 46; Nishmas Avraham ibid in name of Rav SZ”A and Rav Elyashiv

[4] See Tzitz Eliezer 6:40-21; Igros Moshe E.H. 4:64-2

[5] See Otzer Haposkim ibid; Shevet Halevi ibid; Minchas Yitzchak ibid; Nishmas Avraham ibid in name of Rav SZ”A and Rav Elyashiv

[6] See Igros Kodesh 23:24; 100, 310, printed in Shulchan Menachem 6:11

[7] Shevet Halevi ibid

[8] Chasam Sofer E.H. 2:125; Igros Moshe E.H. 1:7; 4:64-2; Minchas Yitzchak 4:49-7; 5:44; 9:140; Teshuvos Vehanhagos 2:774; Mishneh Halachos 4:68; Rav SZ”A in Nishmas Avraham ibid; See Igros Kodesh 23:24; 100, 310, 311

[9] See Temura 16a; Kiddushin 31b; Ramban Bamidbar 26:46; Rama 42:15; Chasam Sofer E.H. 1:76, brought in Pischeiy Teshuvah C.M. ibid; Nishmas Avraham ibid 2

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