Adoption is an process whereby a person assumes the parenting of another, usually a child, from that person’s biological or legal parent or parents. Legal adoptions permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities, along with filiation, from the biological parent or parents.
In many jurisdictions the adopted person’s full original birth certificate is cancelled and replaced with a fabricated post-adoption birth certificate which states that the child was born to the adoptive parents. This deception, where carried out, may continue with the adopted person for life and can be the cause for many well documented traumas experienced by the adopted person, including loss of identity, family history, culture, biological family (including not only biological parents but also siblings and extended family), family medical history and records, and increased risk of suicide, homelessness, incarceration, PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to affect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction. Historically, some societies have enacted specific laws governing adoption; where others have tried to achieve adoption through less formal means, notably via contracts that specified inheritance rights and parental responsibilities without an accompanying transfer of filiation. Modern systems of adoption, arising in the 20th century, tend to be governed by comprehensive statutes and regulations.
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