The Tel Aviv Family Court said on Sunday that a 41-year-old man adopted as a baby should have the right to know the identity of his biological mother.
In 2010, “P.,” who was adopted at the age of five months, turned to the Family Court for help after both his biological parents refused to consent to P. knowing their full names and identities.
While by law the state cannot disclose a biological mother’s identity to an adopted child, unless she agrees, Judge Esther Zitnitski Rakover said she would order the Welfare Ministry to contact P.’s mother and attempt to clarify “her moral obligation to meet with [P.] and help him close this chapter of his life.”
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“If you aren’t adopted, then you won’t be able to understand it,” P. told the court. “To live as an adopted child is in some ways to live in some sort of degraded way for your whole life... You have parents and you have brothers and they don’t know about you, and you have to live with that every single day.”
Judge Zitnitski Rakover said that the case involved two substantial conflicts of interest: the basic human right of an adopted person to know his roots and his biological parents; and the biological parents’ right to preserve their privacy.
The court had to find the right balance between these two opposing interests, the judge said.
“In weighing between the biological parents’ right to privacy, and the child’s basic right to determine his roots, it seems to me that the child’s right is more worthy of special exceptions,” Rakover said.
The judge described the right of an adopted person to know the identity of his biological parents as “part of a basic need inherent in human nature, so a person can build his own independent identity.”