Who are Parents?
The person who gave birth to the child and the person who they conceived the child with are generally considered the parents of the child - but not in all cases. Adoption has long been a way for a person other than a birth parent to become the legal parent of a child. Things like assisted reproduction and surrogacy have now added complexity to the determination of who the parents of a child are and have created the possibility of a child having more than two parents.
When a child is adopted the birth parents are no longer legally considered the child’s parents. The adoptive parents become the child’s parents. There are different types of adoption but all adoptions require consent from the birth parents unless the court makes an exception or the child is already a permanent ward of the government.
The law provides a starting point for who are presumed to be the parents of a child in different situations. However, these do not apply if the child is conceived through assisted reproduction. Parentage or surrogacy agreements can also determine who the parents of a child are.