When an adopted child is called up for an aliyah, how are they referred to? Are they called ben-(adopted parents' name) or something else? Are there any qualifiers involved?

I'm given to understand there's a split in opinion here. If that's indeed the case, I'd like to know what the issues involved are.


1 Answer 1


There are several issues. When I learned about it, the main issues involve if the child was born Jewish or not. This is from memory and from knowing someone that it affected.

  1. If the child was born Jewish and if the biological father was Jewish, then he should be called by the biological father's name.
  2. If the child was born Jewish and the biological father is not Jewish then he should be called in the same way as a child not born Jewish.
  3. When the child is not born Jewish (even with a Jewish father), he can be called 'ben Avraham' as any ger or he can be called 'ben Ploni' (Ploni is the adoptive father and not the biological father) in order not to cause embarrassment to the family.

This last case is indeed what I have seen in a particular case. If the adoptive father is a Cohen or Levi, the child is called 'ben Ploni' and not 'ben Ploni haCohen' because the child is not a member of the shevet.

Note that a child born of a nonJewish mother and a Jewish father is not considered to have any halachic relationship to the biological father. The child is treated just like any other nonJewish infant.

  • If ish ploni is a Kohen or Levi, could there be some way of calling him up while acknowledging the adoptive father's yichus, say פלוני ב׳ הכהן פלוני followed by aliyah number? Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 21:25
  • @Noach mi Frankfurt I have never heard of this being done, especially since it still implies that he is a kohen (since the person acknowledged as his father is a kohen). The way I said it is the way I have heard the child being called up. I believe this would also apply to a chalal as well (such as a child of a kohen and a divorced woman). Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 21:42
  • But would there be a way, in your experience, to acknowledge the kehuna of the adopted father while noting that the child is not. Commented Apr 2, 2014 at 22:18
  • @Noach mi Frankfurt Not to my knowledge. When the father is called to the Torah he is 'hakohen'. When the son is called to the Torah he is not. I am not an expert and this is what have learned and what I have seen in actual practice. Commented Apr 3, 2014 at 2:10

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