Is a child obligated to honor his foster parents? Does it matter if the child cannot locate his biological parents?

  • There's no halakhic concept of adoption.
    – Tatpurusha
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 19:44
  • 1
    @Tatpurusha, the question is about foster parents.
    – msh210
    Commented May 6, 2014 at 22:00
  • Abaye was an orphan from birth but he called the woman who raised him "Mother" and seemed to honor her. Can't remember source. It seems like it is definitely good form.
    – Baby Seal
    Commented Aug 21, 2014 at 18:33
  • @Tatpurusha There is a strong Hashkafic basis for adoption - see "Kol hamelamed es ben chaveiro Torah ma'aleh alav hakasuv ki'ilu yaldo" and others.
    – LN6595
    Commented Feb 2, 2015 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


The commandment of kibbud av v'eim does not apply to adoptive parents (Sotah 49a - right before the Mishna). However, there is a moral obligation of hakarat hatov (gratitude) which requires that the child honor his/her adoptive parents.

(Source. The article states that "one must honor his/her adoptive parents as much as if they were the biological parents." However, the Talmud in Sotah says pretty clearly not that way.)


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