Chances are, you or someone you know is an adoptive parent. As Adam Pertman demonstrated so conclusively in Adoption Nation:  How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming America (about to come out in a revised edition!), adoption touches the majority of Americans, whether through their own families or through their networks of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances.

Within the Jewish community, adoption is, if anything, even more widespread than in the general population. Look around your synagogue, your child’s Hebrew school class of bunk at Jewish camp, or the JCC, and you’ll see how adoption is, quite literally, changing the face of the American Jewish community. And that doesn’t even include the many Jews whose identity as adoptees is invisible to the naked eye but no less significant to their sense of self.

Despite these growing numbers, very little research has been done and very little is known about the real-life experiences of Jewish adoptees and their families. Please help us recitfy this situation by completing the Adoption and Jewish Identity Project’s online survey for parents (or by forwarding the link to Jewish adoptive parents you know, as well as others who can help spread the word).  Available at, the survey should take approximately 30-45 minutes to complete, depending on the number of adopted children in a family.

Over 800 Jewish adoptive parents have already responded to the survey. Their comments indicate how deeply Jewish adoptive families feel the need for more awareness of and attention to their unique concerns:

  • “I think the survey is important to get a true picture of adoptive families, rather than outdated stereotypes.”
  • “Thanks for doing this; I think that the information you are collecting will be important for families as they prepare to adopt and for Jewish communities welcoming new families into their midst.”
  • “Thank you so much for doing this research! It’s so very important!!!”
  • “Finally an objective reflection on the Jewish adoption experience.”

The results of this research will be used in a book for Jewish adoptive families or those considering adoption, as well as for adoption professionals and Jewish communal workers.

For project updates and other relevant information, please visit us on Facebook.

The Adoption and Jewish Identity Project is directed by Dr. Jennifer Sartori and Dr. Jayne Guberman. Sartori is associate director of Jewish Studies at Northeastern University. Guberman is an independent oral historian and consultant. Both Jenny and Jayne are also adoptive mothers.

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