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Knesset Votes on Bill Placing Adoptions Under Civil Court Jurisdiction

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Civil courts will have exclusive authority to issue orders for adoption of children under a bill which has passed its first reading in Knesset today.

Rejecting objections of Religious Party deputies, Pinchas Rosen, Minister of Justice, who introduced the bill on behalf of the Government, said that Jewish religious law does not cover adoptions of children, only guardianship. He said that there was therefore no conflict between Israel’s civil and religious courts in this area.

The basic provision of the bill is establishment of procedures for the termination of obligations and rights between the child and its natural parents and blood relatives, and the transfer of those obligations and rights to the adopted child and the adopting parents.

The Justice Minister, in reply to questions, said that the adoptee’s natural parents would continue to be recorded in the national population registry to avert any possibility of an adopted child marrying a sibling.

Contending that the measure would fill a serious gap in present arrangements, Dr. Rosen disclosed that 107 children were adopted by non-relatives in 1957. Of these, he said, 81 were born out of wedlock and 11 came from separated families. He said 115 other children had been adopted by relatives of the parents.

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