Adoption (social history)
(1,494 words)

1. Basic principles

Adoption is one of the oldest legal institutions and indicates the artificial creation of a parent-child relationship, which is described as Annahme an Kindesstatt (“accepting in the place of a child”) in the Prussian Allgemeines Landrecht. The legal history of adoption is relatively well known, thanks to the sources available, but a social and cultural history of adoption remains to be written, although adoption has been deep…

Cite this page
Stuchtey, Benedikt, “Adoption (social history)”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Executive editor of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy. Consulted online on 19 March 2018 <>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321

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