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Saturday 26 January 2008

Jewish-born adoptee granted temporary residency

Jewish-born adoptee granted temporary residency

The Interior Ministry announced Monday that it was willing to grant
temporary resident status to a US citizen of Jewish descent who was
adopted by a non-Jewish family as a baby and has been attempting to make
aliya for the past year-and-a-half, The Jerusalem Post has learned.
Ya'akov Granot, the newly-appointed director of the Population Registry,
said he would allow Timothy Nicholas Steger, 37, to take on temporary
residency status as a first step towards legal standing in the country.
Granot's decision came following an article in the Post published Friday
that highlighted the shortcomings of the Law of Return for not
addressing the rare category of Jewish-born children who are adopted by
those of other faiths.
"Granot realized that we have to deal with this issue," commented Sabene
Hadad, spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry. "This is only a first
step, but it will allow him all the benefits and rights that most
citizens have such as health insurance and work permits."
Steger, who is from California, was delighted by the decision, even
though it did not give him full citizenship.
"This sounds really exciting and I am very grateful," he told the Post.
"This will definitely help me in my quest to make aliya. I am quite
anxious to stay here and start building a permanent life for myself."
Steger, whose birth father was Jewish, was adopted as a baby by a
devoutly Catholic family with anti-Semitic leanings. However, after
growing up in LA, he joined the anti-neo-Nazi movement and worked
closely with the Anti-Defamation League.
Last August, the Interior Ministry turned Steger down for aliya claiming
that his connection with his biological parents had been severed the
moment that he was adopted.

Steger then appealed the decision on the basis that the Law of Return
grants anyone with at least one Jewish parent or grandparent the right
to immigrate.


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