What Is Adoption?
Adoption is the process by which an adult legally and permanently takes over parental responsibility for a child and, at the same time, the rights and responsibilities of the child’s biological parent(s) or legal guardian(s) are terminated. In rare cases, an adult may adopt another adult. There are both domestic and international adoption programs, each with its own collection of qualifying rules and requirements, along with its own set of potential complications.
In an attempt to pinpoint causes of problems specific to children who have been adopted and develop workable solutions, ongoing studies look at the genetic as well as both prenatal and postnatal environmental influences on the development of children who have been adopted. Other areas of interest to mental health professionals and researchers is the occurrence of post-adoptive depression in adoptive parents and the adjustment of siblings, who are often faced with unexpected emotional challenges of their own.