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Read in the Mischpacha this Shavuos about the story of the famous Orthodox Convert Ruth Ben David. – A French Single Mother Divorcee who converted along with her 11 year old son Claude (who is now known as Uriel) and it brought up an interesting Halachic question I began to ponder…

How does one exactly convert a completely non-Jewish (i.e. neither biological parent is Jewish) minor from a divorced home? Ruth’s son Uriel from a former marriage to a gentile was a minor at the time of her interest in Judaism and so she had him converted along with him, apparently the Beis Din allowed it since he stayed an Orthodox Jew and is a legal citizen of Israel and all but wouldn’t this present a lot of issues? In a case like this wouldn’t they need the other parent’s consent if one parent is converting to a different religion and wants to convert their kid but the other parent isn’t? I would think in a situation like this, especially one as thorny as divorce, Uriel/Claude’s father would’ve immediately contested it and any Orthodox Beis Din worth their weight in salt would’ve been hesitant. I mean since we’re dealing with a child convert here, that’s his kid too, can the mother (or primary custodial parent) just unilaterally decide to convert her child into a whole new religion alongside her without the other parent’s input? How did this not turn into a huge legal affair? (Or maybe it did but that particular article just didn’t get into it?)

It’s honestly the first time I’ve heard of such a situation – a divorced parent converting their child from a previous (goyish) marriage. Usually when you hear of child converts it’s usually one of 3 things, they’re either:

A: Adopted

B: Patrilineal with a Jewish father

C: Completely non-Jewish like Claude, but in this case it’s the whole family that’s converting, not just one parent.

I’ve literally never heard of a case of a single mother of a completely non-Jewish child converting both her and her kid after a divorce until now… How would a Beis Din even deal with a situation like this?

submitted by /u/tsundereshipper
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Source: Reditt

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