I read that Madonna's latest attempt to adopt a child from Malawi has been rejected--for now--by a Judge. There is something distasteful about her adoption habit, is there not?
There are many children in the UK who are not adopted despite many people thinking that would be best, probably including the children themselves. The reasons can be many and are often more complex than at first glance but watch out if you are overweight, over 40--sometimes younger--not from an appropriate race etc. People criticising such decisions often say if you are middle class, in a stable straight marriage, about 35 years of age then you will have a problem!
Adoption is often mentioned when step parents talk about step children. Obviously that often comes up for us after a divorce when a new step parent mixes families with a new family. So, for example, a new man gets together with a woman and her child. Apart from the problems of contact or residence, the issue that often arises especially where say the natural father has avoided contact, the "new father" may think adoption is the only choice. It isn't. Shared parental responsibility is often the relatively easy way to deal with the sharing of the legal rights with regard to the children.
More about parental responsibility can be downloaded here.