Adoption, an act by which paternal and filial relations are established between persons not filling that character by nature. Adoption in this sense was very prevalent among the Greeks and Romans, and was strictly regulated under their laws. Adoption has never been an institution in England or Scotland. The benefits arising therefrom may, however, be conferred by deed, as where a testator places himself in loco parentis, but a contract with the true parent is necessary before any legal obligation is incurred by the adoptor. In the United States there are express statutes regulating adoption. It is generally accomplished by mutual agreement in terms prescribed by law, and binding upon the adoptor who agrees to treat the one adopted as his own child, towards whom he will fulfil all parental duties, while the child adopted takes upon himself all the duties and obligations of a child towards his or her parent. These laws are various in the several States, though they all have the same general purpose.