Adoption is the process by which a legal parent-child relationship is created.  Once adopted, children may inherit on an equal basis with biological children under state laws of distribution upon the death of a parent.  Additionally, adoption terminates any legal rights then in existence between the biological parent and the child.  Prior to an adoption being approved by the court, a termination or surrender of parental rights of the living biological parent(s) is required.  Termination of parental rights may be voluntary or involuntary.  Birth parents who wish to place their children for adoption may voluntarily relinquish or surrender their parental rights.

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