Adoption has a long history in the Jewish tradition. Some of the most prominent historical figures in Judaism, including Moses and the Talmudic scholar Rava, were raised by adoptive parents. Because of this tradition, most Jewish children in need of a home find shelter with relatives or family friends, and Jewish parents who seek to adopt a child who was born Jewish may have difficulty finding one, but adoption with subsequent conversion to Judaism is a common phenomenon.
Cradle of Hope
The Cradle of Hope maintains both a domestic adoption program and an international program, placing children from the former Soviet Union, Romania, China and Latin America in adoptive homes. Accommodations are made for Jewish adoptions, attempting to place Jewish children with Jewish families when possible, and they are frequently called upon by Jewish Federations. Since their establishment in 1990, the Cradle of Hope has assisted with the adoption of more than 3,000 children. Their domestic program assists pregnant women in the U.S., with outreach in both schools and community organisations. They also run a summer camp for Russian orphans called "Bridge of Hope," which is designed to help identify adoptive families for children in the program.
Caring Homes for Orphan Children
Caring Homes for Orphan Children is a division of Tzivos Hashem Canada, an adoption agency that works with Jewish children and Jewish placements. This agency is affiliated with the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement although the program is non-denominational and assists children and families of all backgrounds. The screening process and adoption averages six to eight months and involves at least two trips to Russia.
Jewish Children's Adoption Network
The Jewish Children's Adoption Network is a not-for-profit organisation, established in 1990. They are principally concerned with finding appropriate homes for Jewish children. Most of the children referred to the Jewish Children Adoption Network are especially needy, with physical disabilities or suffering from emotional trauma. They do not refer to themselves as an "agency," rather as a "matchmaker."
Yeladim (Hebrew for "children") is especially concerned with assisting children in the former Soviet Union who have been orphaned, abandoned or neglected. Many of these children are currently living in orphanages, but most are not available for adoption since they still have one parent who maintains parental rights even though they are not able to care for them. They do not accept donations but maintain a website that provides references to organisations that specifically carry out this mission. Yeladim does not maintain a conventional office but acts as a referral service to other groups that work with children and adoptive parents.