Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents, and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the biological parent or parents.
Adoption law is concerned with creating a legal relationship of parent-child where a person is not a child’s biological parent. Normally three parties are involved in this process: the child, the adoptive parent(s), and the child’s biological parents or a public agency such as the department of social services.
Adoption involves the creation of the parent-child relationship between individuals who are not naturally so related. The adopted child is given the rights, privileges, and duties of a child and heir by the adoptive family. At the conclusion of the formal adoption process, a legal relationship between child and guardian will have formed. The legal relationship results in the adoptee becoming the legal heir of the adopter and terminates any legal rights then in existence with the natural parents.
Lawyers are often involved in the adoption process, especially in adoptions arranged by the lawyer or another person, such as a physician.