1 Original Adoption is the practice of legally transferring care and guardianship of a child from his or her biological parents to an adoptive parent or parents. The adopted child becomes a part of the new family and acquires all the rights, privileges, and responsibilities that come with membership in that family. Although adoption is believed to have been a feature of human society for millennia, it did not become formally codified in law until the relatively recent past. In the United States, adoption laws were first passed at the state level in the mid-nineteenth century. The 1851 Massachusetts Adoption of Children Act is commonly cited as the nation’s first modern adoption statute, although the practice of legally transferring an adopted child.