Marriage of Developmentally Impaired Child


We have a son with developmental disabilities that prevent him from having a normal life. He will never be able to live independently. Our rabbi said he is patar mitzvah. He is in his 20s and we have guardianship over him now, and after we are no longer able to care for him, he will probably have to go to a group home. He has good social skills and a job that he does very well and he wants to be as independent as possible. He is jealous he cannot have a fully independent life like most adults. It is obvious he is attracted to women and he wants to get married someday. He understands the concept of love and marriage. We discussed this with both his doctor and our rabbi and they both feel he should not marry. But we feel his pain and believe it would be cruel to deprive him of his desires and we disagree with both of them. We know of other marriages between those who are intellectually impaired that are successful, some who even have children. How should we approach this? And what if we override what our rabbi has told us and take steps to find him a wife?



  1. First, please accept my personal Bracha that Hakadosh Baruch Hu bless you with good health for many, many more years.

    Personally, I think that your question needs to be asked to one of the Gedolim of our generation. I do not know if you have a way to find out but Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch is currently in America, and I would strongly recommend that you try to meet with him. Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch is American and speaks English fluently.

    If it is not possible to arrange a meeting with Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, there is a renowned Talmid Chacham here in Yerushalayim who is also one of the Gedolei HaPoskim in our generation, Rav Osher Weiss. Rav Weiss speaks English fluently and he is an expert in all areas of Halacha and Hashkafa. I would suggest that you email him your question, as he is not just eminently qualified to answer such questions, but he is also one of the most empathetic, understanding and patient people I know.

    Rav Osher Weiss can be reached through

    Best wishes from the Team