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Adoption - Legal Consequences And Availability, History And Purpose, Process, International Adoptions

Marriage and Family EncyclopediaPregnancy & Parenthood


Adoption is a process in which a person (the adoptee) acquires the rights and duties of a biological child with respect to an individual who is not the adoptee's biological parent. The process is usually legal in character, but in some cultures adoption occurs by social ritual. As part of the process of adoption, the adoptee's legal relationship with his or her biological parents may be terminated.

Common events triggering the possibility of adoption are the death of a biological parent; the termination of a biological parent's rights following the abuse, neglect or abandonment of the adoptee; or the divorce of the biological parents followed by the remarriage of the custodial parent and a loss of contact with the noncustodial biological parent.


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