Adoption is the social, emotional, and legal process in which children who will not be raised by their birth parents become full and permanent legal members of another family while maintaining genetic and psychological connections to their birth family. Adoption has many facets and touches people in different ways—depending on their role and perspective. Adoption is a way of providing new families for children who cannot be brought up by their biological parents. It is a legal procedure in which all parental responsibility is transferred to the adopters. Once an adoption has been granted, it cannot be reversed. An adopted child loses all legal ties with their birth parents and becomes a full member of the adoptive family, usually taking the family's name.

Adoption Process and what to Expect Along the Way
Engaging in the adoption process is a wonderful thing to do for many different reasons. Not only are the adoptive parents making a difference in the life of the adopted child but they are enriching their own lives as well. Whether the prospective parents are looking to adopt because they are unable to have biological children or if they are choosing to adopt to bring a new special person into their lives, it is a process which is wonderful yet involved as well. For this reason, it is important to go into the adoption process with some general background information in mind and that way the prospective parents will be better prepared for this adventure of a lifetime. As the adoption process differs whether it is a domestic adoption (inside the United States) or an international adoption (outside of the United States), the following paragraphs will describe the process according to each type of adoption.