Adoption facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
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Anne of Green Gables
Actors at the Anne of Green Gables Museum on Prince Edward Island, Canada. After it was published in 1908, the story of the orphaned Anne, and how the Cuthberts adopted her, has been widely popular in the English-speaking world. Later, its popularity spread to Asia as well.

Adoption is the legal act of permanently placing a child with a parent or parents other than the birth parents. Adoption usually results in the severing of the parental responsibilities and rights of the biological parents and the placing of those responsibilities and rights onto the adoptive parents. After the finalization of an adoption, there is no legal difference between biological and adopted children, although there is a world of difference outside of the legal world.

Different jurisdictions have varying laws on adoption and post-adoption. Some practise closed adoption, preventing further contact between the adopted person and the biological parents, while others have varying degrees of open adoption, which may allow such contact.

Reasons for adoption

Most children are placed for adoption as a result of the biological parents' decision that they are unable to adequately care for a child. Rarer are cases in which biological parents have lost their responsibilities and rights due to neglect or abuse. A small percentage of children who were adopted have been orphaned because of the death of their biological parents.

In some cases, parents' rights have been terminated when their outgroup culture has been deemed unfit by the controlling government. Aboriginal Peoples in Australia were affected by such policies, as were Native Americans in the United States and Canada.

Adoption Agencies

Adoption agencies can range from government-funded agencies that place children at little cost, to lawyers who arrange private adoptions, to international commercial and non-profit agencies. Adoptive parents can pay from nothing to US$20,000 for an adoption, with private adoptions generally costing more. Infants are more commonly sought than toddlers or older children, and adoptive parents often seek the same race.


Many adopted people and biological parents who were separated by adoption have a natural desire to reunite. In countries which practise closed adoption, this desire has led to efforts to open sealed records and efforts to establish the right of adoptees to access their sealed records.

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Adoption Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.