Adoption (American Indians Ready Reference)
Article abstract: Native Americans had very different ideas about family from those now accepted in America; many more people were considered family to begin with, and adoption was a widespread practice
In most American Indian cultures, a family was not only the nuclear family but also parents, parents-in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other related individuals who might need the “sponsorship” of a family. An example of one to be adopted would be a great aunt whose children had died or moved to another camp or tribe. Individuals who had been adopted became part of the family.
Adoption could be temporary or permanent. For example, the Ute allowed their children to live with Spanish-speaking residents of trading partners so that the children would learn a second language and culture. These children then belonged to both families, although they continued to identify themselves as Ute. Among most nations, related children, such as a cousin’s child, might be reared by the parents until a certain age and then allowed to live with relatives who might have special skills or children of similar age. While these were not considered adoptions by Indians, they are frequently cited in the non-Indian literature about Indians as adoptions. A Cheyenne girl who showed particular interest in quillwork at nine years of age might go to live with an aunt who was skilled in this work. Her parents, brothers, sisters, and cousins often...
(The entire section is 521 words.)
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Adoption (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
A practice in which an adult assumes the role of parent for a child who is not his or her biological offspring.
An adult assumes the role of parent for a child other than his or her own biological offspring in the process of adoption. Informal adoptions occur when a relative or stepparent assumes permanent parental responsibilities without court involvement. However, legally recognized adoptions require a court or other government agency to award permanent custody of a child (or, occasionally, an older individual) to adoptive parents. Specific requirements for adoption vary among states and countries. Adoptions can be privately arranged through individuals or agencies, or arranged through a public agency such as a state's child protective services. Adoptees may be infants or older children; they may be adopted singly or as sibling groups; and they may come from the local area or from other countries. Adoptive parents may be traditional married couples, but they may also be single men or women or non-traditional couples. Parents may be childless or have other children.
Adoption is a practice that dates to ancient times, although there have been fundamental changes in the process. Ancient Romans, for example, saw adoption as a way of ensuring male heirs to childless couples so that family lines and religious traditions could be...
(The entire section is 2892 words.)
Adoption (Encyclopedia of Children's Health)
Adoption is the practice in which an adult assumes the role of parent for a child who is not the adult's biological offspring. The process usually involves some legal paperwork.
The ancient practice of adoption was a way of ensuring male heirs to childless couples in order to preserve family lines and religious traditions. In the 1850s the Children's Aid Society of New York City began to move dependent children out of city institutions. Between 1854 and 1904 orphan trains carried an estimated 100,000 children to families on farms in the Midwest; these children were to provide farm work in exchange for care.
Modern U.S. adoption laws are designed with the best interests of the child in mind, not the best interests of the adult who intends to adopt. Throughout most of the twentieth century, adoptions were conducted in secret, and records were often sealed to protect those involved from the social stigma of birth out of wedlock. After World War I, the advent of commercial formula facilitated raising babies without their being fed by breast. Adults were trained in parenting, and childless couples became interested in adopting. Because of the rapidly increasing interest in infant adoptions, many state laws...
(The entire section is 2688 words.)
Adopt (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
Adoption (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
A two-step judicial process in conformance to state statutory provisions in which the legal obligations and rights of a child toward the biological parents are terminated and new rights and obligations are created between the child and the adoptive parents.
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.
Since adoption was not recognized at COMMON LAW, all adoption procedures in the United States are regulated by statute. Adoption statutes prescribe the conditions, manner, means, and consequences of adoption. In addition, they specify the rights and responsibilities of all parties involved.
De facto adoption is a VOIDABLE agreement to adopt a child, based on a statutory proceeding in a particular state, which becomes lawful when the petition to adopt is properly presented.
Equitable adoption, sometimes referred to as virtual adoption, is treated by the law as final for certain purposes in spite of the fact that it has not been formally executed. When adoption appears to comply with standards of fairness and justice, some states will grant a child...
(The entire section is 6131 words.)