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n. Selecting and taking as one's own that which was not so before. A statutory creation of the relationship of parent and child between persons who are not biologically related. 


Adoption did not exist under the common law of England, although it was in use '[a]mong the ancient peoples of Greece, Rome, Egypt and Babylonia.' M. Leary and R. Weinberg, Law of Adoption (4th Ed.1979) 1; Lord Mackenzie, Studies in Roman Law, 130-34 (3rd ed. 1870); American and English Encyclopaedia of Law (1887) 204, n. 9. According to J.W. Madden, Handbook of the Law of Persons and Domestic Relations (Wash.1931) § 106, adoption in the sense of the term as used in this country was not a part of the English law until 1926. The primary purpose for adoption was, and still is, inheritance rights, particularly in 'France, Greece, Spain and most of Latin America.' Leary and Weinberg, Law of Adoption, 1. Since adoption was not a part of the common law, it owes its existence in the State, and indeed in the nation, to statutory enactments. Id. See also Hillers v. Taylor, 108 Md. 148, 155-56, 69 A. 715 (1908). 

 

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