Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingParenting · 1 year ago

Why does the word "adoption" describe a couple taking in a child AND describes child whose last name is legally changed to parent's spouse's?

When a child is adopted, he/she typically ends up living with a man and/or woman who the child doesn't know at first. But when a child's mother or father gets married, the child still lives with said parent. The only thing that changes is that the spouse moves in and becomes another legal guardian whose last name is now the child's. Exactly how does that count as adoption, if the child is still living at the same residence with biological parent while his/her spouse is the one moving in? When I hear the word "adoption," I think of abandoned children who need a home, not children whose last names were legally changed because their mom or dad got married.

3 Answers

  • 1 year ago

    Because "adopt" is a word with multiple meanings.

    "My son chose to adopt his stepfather's last name."

    "My husband chose to legally adopt my son."

    Same word. Two different meanings.

    A few more ways to use it... "Congress adopted new laws this term." "Please adopt proper safety measures when using heavy machinery." "The junior high has its own rules, many of which are adopted from the feeder elementary schools."

  • Susie
    Lv 7
    1 year ago

    Adoption is a legal action determined by a judge. A stepparent MAY adopt step children in certain circumstances, but it also has to go through the court system. Names can be legally changed without going through the adoption process and therefore the children have NOT been legally adopted.

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 year ago

    That's up to the parties involved. When a woman marries someone, her name isn't automatically changed. A namechange is a distinct legal process and is never 100% mandatory under any circumstance.

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