A bill that would allow non-Orthodox Israeli parents to adopt non-Jewish children was sent to the Knesset. The Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved the bill on Sunday.
The measure, which would amend the adoption law, must undergo a preliminary reading in the Knesset and pass two more readings before becoming official.
Under law now, only Orthodox couples may adopt non-Jewish children, since it is understood that they will convert the child to Judaism under halachic auspices. Non-Orthodox couples must either adopt Jewish children or offer proof that they will become religiously observant, convert the child and raise it in a religiously observant home.
Non-Orthodox couples who adopted non-Jewish children were, for all intents and purposes, forced to become observant themselves.
According to the bill, a judge would be able prioritize the child’s well-being over religious considerations.
Adi Kol of the centrist Yesh Atid party submitted the bill.
“The bill’s approval represents a meaningful statement by the country, that the child’s welfare is the main factor in the adoption process,” said Kol, “and it will remove the obstacle that prevented until now hundreds of children in Israel from receiving a warm home, because of halachic restrictions to the process.”