Aliyah after adoption – Israeli citizenship for Adoptee
Aliyah after adoption – Is a non-Jewish child adopted by an Aliyah-eligible family entitled to return to Israel? Our Israeli law office specializes in Aliyah and immigration to Israel. In other articles we explained the rights to immigrate to Israel after de-facto adoption, as well as the possibility of Aliyah for a Jew who was adopted by a family that is not entitled to to the Right of Return. In this article, Attorney Michael Decker will explain how a person who has been legally adopted by a family entitled to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return can make Aliyah.
What are the Israeli laws regarding Aliyah after adoption?
Aliyah to Israel is based on the Law of Return, 1950. The law permits Jews (defined as a person born to a Jewish mother or converted to Judaism) as well as children or grandchildren to a Jew to immigrate to Israel. But is this right reserved only to the biological offspring a Jew? Does a minor adopted by a Jew or the child of a Jew have the right to immigrate to Israel? The Israeli Adoption of Children Law (1981) does not address this issue explicitly. However, legal precedent and Ministry of the Interior procedures confirm that an adopted child is treated the same as a biological child. The child is considered to be a second (or third) generation offspring of a Jew, entitled to the right of return.
Procedures of the Ministry of the Interior regarding Aliyah after Adoption
In contrast to de-facto adoption (see above), legal adoption, which is done formally, should be well documented. To receive the right of Aliyah after adoption, the adoption documents (court order, adoption certificate, etc.) must be submitted to the immigration authorities, translated and authenticated. It should also be shown that the adoption bond is real. In other words, adoptive parents must have raised the adopted child as their own. Finally, all the necessary documents needed for Aliyah must be provided in this case as well.
Israeli legal practice does not recognize the adoption of an adult, whether in general or to bestow the Right of Return. The possibility of immigration after adoption is open only for minors – those who are not yet 18 years of age.
It should be emphasized that if the child is adopted near the age of 18 or close to the date of immigration, the adoption will be suspect. Ministry of Interior officials may think that the minor was adopted specifically to receive the right to immigrate to Israel. In this case, the applicants for immigration have the burden to convince the Israeli immigration authorities that the connection is genuine. Evidence must be provided that the adopters did indeed raise the adoptee in all practical respects.
What about a child adopted abroad by Israeli citizens?
An adopted child of a spouse of an Israeli citizen receives status in Israel as part of the gradual process. But what about a child adopted abroad by parents who are citizens or residents of Israel?
The relevant procedure of the Ministry of the Interior is “the procedure for granting an entry visa to a child adopted abroad”. The adoption process is managed by a local association under the supervision of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Most of the bureaucratic paperwork abroad and the entry of the child to Israel is carried out by the association. The applicants must stay in Israel for three of the five years preceding the request.
The adoptive parents must apply for a permanent residency visa for the adopted child. The required documents include a certificate of adoption issued abroad, and a medical certificate from the association’s doctor.
Aliyah After Adoption for “Fourth Generation” immigrants – Great grandchildren of Jews
As stated above, the Right of Return to Israel is open to Jews, children to Jews, and grandchildren to Jews. In addition, the right is provided to spouses of Jews, and spouses of children or grandchildren of Jews. The right of Aliyah of minor children who are “fourth generation” descendants to Jews (whose parents or parent are grandchildren to Jews) is not specified in the Law of Return.
However, since the State of Israel does not wish to force families to choose between aliyah and separation from children, fourth-generation minors also have the right to immigrate to Israel with their families. Great-grandchildren to Jews and children from previous marriage of spouses who are entitled to aliyah can come to Israel only as minors, along with their parents. It is important to note that as adults, they are not allowed to immigrate to Israel.
After making aliyah, the fourth generation immigrants do not receive the same benefits from the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption that are given to minors who are eligible for aliyah in their own right. However, after reaching the age of 18, they can become naturalized citizens or receive permanent residency status. After receiving the legal status, they are considered citizens of Israel in every respect.
Contact our office – Israeli immigration lawyers
Our law firm in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv specializes in immigration and citizenship in Israel. If you encounter a problem with the Ministry of the Interior regarding immigration, Aliyah, or receiving a status after adoption, we will be happy to assist and provide you with legal information.