Adoption is when a child is born to one set of parents but then cared for by another.

(North Carolina General Statute Ch. 48)

A decree of adoption effects a complete substitution of families for all legal purposes after the entry of the decree. In most adoption proceedings, the result of an adoption results is two different developments. First, adoption creates a new, permanent legal relationship between the adopting parent and the adoptee-child. Second, adoption permanently severs all legal relationships between the adoptee-child and his or her biological parents.  One of the most common types of adoption is the stepparent adoption.