Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Leslie Doty Hollingsworth
Few in the United States have not been touched by adoption—either as members of the adoption triad (biological parents, adoptive parents, and adopted persons) or being related to or having (had) an association with adoption involving others. Adoption is the legal and permanent placement of a child with an adult who is not the child's biological parent. Once an adoption is legally finalized, adopted children have all the rights accruing to biological children, including the right to inherit. Adoption may involve stepchildren, biologically related children, previous foster children, and children who are strangers to (have never met) the adoptive parents. Adoptions may be closed (sharing no information between the biological parents and adoptive parents); semi-open (sharing limited information, such as medical history or pictures at certain occasions, between the biological parents and adoptive parents); or open (making provision for ongoing contact between the biological parents and adoptive parents, and matched ...