“The1 steadily increasing number of people who seek to adopt children includes couples who are most particular about even the minutest detail of the enactments of our Sages. Yet I have observed that many such couples have not noted that all restrictions — such as embracing and kissing, and likewise yichud [i.e., being secluded in certain defined circumstances with a person of the opposite sex who is not an immediate relative] — apply in full to adopted children. Various books and booklets that I have seen deal with problems such as how to ensure that brothers and sisters do not marry; others deal with problems related to inheritance and the like. All these latter questions, however, arise many years after adoption and are only in the category of a possible doubt, and [in part] involve [only] financial matters. The prohibitions mentioned earlier, by contrast, such as yichud, must certainly be confronted. Moreover, they first present themselves many years before the adopted children attain marriageable age.

“It is self-evident that this situation is not the same as the widespread Jewish tradition of bringing up an orphaned boy or girl. For nowadays the intention of adoptive parents is to conceal the fact that they are not the child’s true parents: they go out of their way not to stir the least suspicion in the child’s mind that they relate to him differently to the way his friends’ parents relate to them. Moreover, many adoption societies elicit assurances from the outset that the child will be reared without any complication or disturbance — in other words, that the relationship in every aspect will be the same as with one’s own child. In addition, doctors and psychologists lend their weight to this attitude, arguing that it is vital for the child’s unhampered development. To such people, further elaboration is superfluous. It should only be added that the number of adoptions is several times the number estimated or published by statisticians, since many adoptive parents — and even more so, many of those who hand over their children for adoption — do not wish to publicize the fact for numerous reasons.

“It is therefore to be hoped that all these facts and warnings about the seriousness of the issues involved will suffice to rectify the above situation which must, at long last, be corrected.[...] Due emphasis should be given to a prohibition which presents itself daily, and which in today’s conditions it is well nigh impossible to be heedful of except through constant and punctilious efforts, even when the adoptive parents are G‑d-fearing people....”