Although adoption is considered an act of love by the people involved, it is solely a legal action from the perspective of the government. In the process of adoption, a child is permanently placed with a family other than the child's birth parents. The birth parents' parental rights are permanently terminated, and transferred to the adoptive parents. This is a serious action for courts to take, as it deeply influences the lives of several people. There are many steps in the legal process necessary to complete an adoption, and many people involved in making it happen. As a first step in understanding the adoption process, it is a good idea to learn about the different people and formal roles that are involved in making the adoption process.