The Meaning of "Adoption" in the CGL Community
Adoption is an important process that allows an adult or a couple to have legal authority over a minor. In the CGL community adoption is also present but used in a way to designate a relationship between two or more consenting adults who would like to more seriously commit themselves to one another. The word "adopt" has been chosen by the community in effort to have the parent/child-like bond recognized in the union of the adults taking their relationship to the next step.
There are commonly two uses of "adoption" within the community:
To legally bind two or more people together. To become married or in place of marriage but maintaining legal recognition.
☆ To become legally married but instead of using the term "married" the people joining together use the word "adopted".
☆ To become legally (by pre-existing, valid law and court recognition) adopted by another adult, wherein the adopted cannot legally marry the person who has adopted them but a legally recognized connection has been established. Please see your state laws
for requirements to be legally capable of adopting another adult.
In effort to vow or promise long-term commitment. Similar to that of engagement of marriage.
☆ Instead of what is known within the BDSM community as "collaring" (a promise of devotion or intention of long-term relationship; sometimes "collaring" is in place of traditional marriage proposal).
☆ Instead of "proposing marriage" or becoming "engaged to be married" as a promise of devotion or intent to wed.
Adoption should not be used lightly in effort to maintain it's common understanding as being a level of a seriously committed relationship in the community. Traditionally, the person proposing the "adoption" should present the other person with a gift of personal value, and persons attending an adoption ceremony should congratulate the coupling through verbal praise, gifting of presents, and specially written letters.