Adoption Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Adoption, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Adoption?

adj. the latin word aliquotus means contained an exact number of times in something else. Aliquot means something of or relating to or being a fraction or percentage of a whole. Legally the term is used to define a share when a deceased’s estate is being divided.

History and Definition of Adoption

Adoption is the legal process of taking another person's child into your family and giving them the same rights and responsibilities as if they were born to you. The practice of adoption dates back to ancient civilizations such as Rome and Greece, where adoption was used primarily to ensure the continuation of religious practices and family customs. In medieval times, adoption was a way for wealthy families to gain heirs and for poor families to give their children a better life.

Nowadays, adoption serves as a means for providing a stable home and family environment for children who are unable to be raised by their biological parents. Adoption laws vary by state and country, but most require extensive screening and background checks of prospective adoptive parents to ensure that the child is placed in a safe and nurturing home.

Examples of Adoption

  1. John and Jane adopted a baby girl from an orphanage in China.
  2. The Smiths adopted a foster child they had been caring for.
  3. The Johnsons decided to adopt a sibling group of three children from their community.
  4. The adoption agency conducted a home study of the Smiths' house and background before approving them as adoptive parents.
  5. The adoption was finalized in court, granting the adoptive parents full legal rights and responsibilities for the child.

Legal Terms Related to Adoption

  • Foster care: Providing temporary care for children who are unable to reside with their biological parents.
  • Guardianship: Legal responsibility for a child's welfare granted to a person other than the biological parents, typically established through court proceedings.
  • Surrogacy: A legal practice in which a woman carries and gives birth to a child on behalf of another person or couple.