Difference Wiki

Adopter vs. Adoptee: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on December 17, 2023
Adopter is the person who takes legal responsibility for adopting someone. Adoptee is the person who is being adopted.

Key Differences

An adopter refers to an individual or a couple who legally takes on the parental responsibilities for a child not biologically theirs. In contrast, an adoptee is that child who becomes part of a new family through the process of adoption.
Adopters often go through extensive legal and social processes to adopt a child. Conversely, adoptees are the recipients of this process, transitioning into a new family environment.
Adopters provide care, support, and a new familial identity to their adoptees. Meanwhile, adoptees receive these benefits, bringing new dynamics into the adopter's family.
Adopters may adopt for various reasons, such as the desire for parenthood or to provide a home for a child in need. Adoptees, however, are typically in situations where they require a new permanent family.
The relationship between adopters and adoptees is legally binding and emotionally significant, with adopters assuming full parental responsibilities and adoptees becoming integral members of their new families.

Comparison Chart

Role in Adoption

Initiates and completes the adoption process
Is the subject of the adoption process

Legal Responsibility

Gains legal guardianship and responsibility
Receives legal guardianship from adopter

Emotional Aspect

Chooses to adopt and provide a family
Receives a new family and emotional support

Process Involvement

Actively participates in legal and social processes
Passively involved; focus is on their welfare


Seeks to expand family or provide care
Seeks or needs a new, stable family environment

Adopter and Adoptee Definitions


An adopter refers to someone who has legally adopted a child.
The adopter attended a school meeting as the official guardian of their adopted child.


An adoptee is the individual at the center of an adoption process.
The adoptee, a toddler, adapted well to his new home.


An adopter is someone who legally takes a child into their family.
The adopter signed the final papers, officially welcoming the child into their home.


An adoptee refers to someone who becomes part of a new family through adoption.
The adoptee celebrated his first birthday with his adoptive family.


An adopter is a person who assumes all parental rights and responsibilities for an adoptee.
The adopter felt immense joy as they celebrated their first Christmas with their adopted son.


An adoptee is someone who gains new legal guardians through adoption.
The adoptee learned about her adoption story at a young age.


An adopter is a participant in the legal process of adoption.
As an adopter, she had to complete numerous forms and interviews before the adoption was approved.


An adoptee is a recipient of care and familial support from adopters.
The adoptee thrived in school with the support of her adoptive parents.


An adopter can be an individual or couple seeking to parent a child not biologically theirs.
After years of contemplation, the couple became adopters of a newborn girl.


An adoptee is a person, usually a child, who is legally adopted.
The young adoptee quickly bonded with her new siblings.


To take on the legal responsibilities as parent of (a child that is not one's biological child).


One, such as a child, that is or has been adopted.


To become the owner or caretaker of (a pet, especially one from a shelter).


An adopted son or daughter.


A person who was adopted as a child.
An adult Chinese female adoptee has found her biological parents.


Synonym of adopter


Someone (such as a child) who has been adopted


Do adoptees always know they are adopted?

Not always; it depends on when and how they are informed.

What is an adopter?

An individual or couple who legally adopts a child.

Who is an adoptee?

A person, typically a child, who is adopted.

Can adopters be single parents?

Yes, single individuals can be adopters.

Can adoptees search for their biological parents?

Yes, but the ease of this depends on the laws and circumstances of the adoption.

Do adoptees have a say in their adoption?

Older children may have some input, but younger children typically do not.

Are adopters always childless before adoption?

No, adopters can have biological children or other adopted children.

Can anyone become an adopter?

Eligibility varies by location and agency, but there are usually specific requirements.

Can adoptees inherit from their adopters?

Yes, adoptees have legal rights to inherit from their adoptive parents.

Are adopters required to be financially stable?

Yes, financial stability is typically a requirement for adoption.

Do adoptees maintain contact with their birth families?

This varies and can depend on the type of adoption.

Can adoptees inherit traits from their adoptive parents?

While they may adopt behavioral traits, genetic traits are from their biological parents.

Do adopters receive support during the adoption process?

Yes, they often receive guidance from adoption agencies.

Are adoptees always from the same country as their adopters?

No, there are both domestic and international adoptions.

Do all adoptees adapt well to their new families?

Adaptation varies; some may face challenges.

Can adopters choose the gender of their adoptee?

This depends on the policies of the adoption agency.

Can adoptees have dual citizenship?

In some cases, yes, especially in international adoptions.

Do adopters need to be of a certain marital status?

Requirements vary; some agencies require marriage, others don't.

Are there age limits for adopters?

Most agencies have age requirements, but these can vary.

Is the adoption process the same for all adopters?

No, it can vary significantly based on many factors.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons