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Adoption is a legal procedure which establishes a new family relationship between the adopting parents and the child who is being adopted. After the completion of the adoption process, the adopting parents have the same rights, duties and responsibilities to the child as the birth-parents would have had.
Some general rules apply to adoption proceedings. A single or divorced person, or a couple (unmarried or same-sex) can adopt a child. However, if the adopting persons are married, both the husband and wife must join in the petition unless they have been separated for over a year. A child who is over the age of fourteen years must agree to being adopted.