Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


to take someone else’s child into your family and legally make them your own child

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The verb adopt came into use almost a century after the noun adoption, which was borrowed from French and Latin words in the mid 14th century.


This is National Adoption Week in the UK (in the US National Adoption Day is observed annually on the Saturday before Thanksgiving, which this year is 23 November). The purpose of the annual campaign is to find homes for children who need them, currently around 3000 children across the UK. To adopt a child is to legally make them part of your own family; you then become an adoptive parent or an adopter, while the child is an adopted child. Adopt has other meanings, which you can find out about here. Adoption is one of the entries in our new Collocations Dictionary. You can explore the entry here.


In the UK, there are almost 3,000 children that are in need of an adoptive family and the number of adoptions in England has fallen by a third in four years.

[The campaign] aims to change perceptions around adoption and ensure people feel eligible and capable to adopt.

Related words

care, foster, looked-after

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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