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 May 6 '14 at 19:44
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    @Tatpurusha, the question is about foster parents. – msh210 May 6 '14 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 Aug 21 '14 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 Feb 2 '15 at 18:15

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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