Ancient Child Adoption

Child adoption is a procedure where a person is given the responsibility of parenting someone’s child, by doing so the person who is adopting child is given all the responsibilities and filiation of that child permanently from the biological or legal parents. Legally,adoption can be done by an individual or couple but the child who is being adopted has to be 14 years younger and the adopting parents should not be disable in any way.

Adoption is not like providing guardianship or shelter by other systems to the young ones, it changes the status and social recognition of the child legally as well as religiously. In modern society, process of adoption is done under the rules and regulations instead of the historical process of adoption where the laws and regulations were enacted by societies. Here in this article we are going to shortly discuss history of this child adoption process:

Ancient Adoption

Adoption in modern world especially in United States is formed according to all the practices appeared child adoption in history. For example, The Code Of Hammurabi, give details about the rights of adopters and all the responsibilities which are going to be implied on the adopted child. Codex Justinianus documentaries shows all the practices of adoption in ancient Romes.

The difference between the modern and ancient adoption process is that ancients adoption affects the political and economic interests of the adopters which provides them legally the right of strengthening the political knots between wealthy families and adopted kids. The use of adoption in high or noble class families is documented well, a number of Rome emperors were adopted sons of Romes.


Adoption of infants or newly born is found rarely during Antiquity. Disowned children were often adopted for the purpose of slavery. According to legal records of Roman the adopted child was taken and raised by families as their son and daughter. And those adoptees who were not adopted under light of the Roman law, known commonly as alumni, were beaded in a system similar to guardianship, being considered as the property of father who disowned them.

India And China Civilizations

Other ancient civilizations, specially China and India, have practices some forms of adoption as well. The goal of practicing this adoption process was to make sure that the cultural and religious values are being practiced continuously in similarity to the Western Ideas of extending family. In India, secondary sonship which was prominently announced in Rigveda, was continued in a limited but highly ritualistic manner, according to which the adopter may have important funerary rites performed by the adopted son. China had the same idea of adoption in which the adopted male has to perform solely the duty of ancestor worship.

 Culture of Polynesia

Cultures of Polynesia has also practiced the adoption process of child belonging to a family member or close friend, including Hawaii where this custom was known as hănai.

These are the common practices of child adoption in history, which have changed in modern world but there is a impact of these historical ideas on today’s adoption process.



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