adopted and adoptive - the difference


 
The difference between adopted and adoptive is best explained with a simple example:

Mr Smith says, "Sarah is my adopted daughter."
Sarah says, "He is my adoptive father."
 

Adopted

The adjective adopted pertains to the person who has been adopted.

Example:

Charles loved his adopted daughter as if she were his own.

Adoptive

The adjective adoptive pertains to the person who has adopted.

Example:

Rebecca loved her adoptive father as if he were her own.



Adoption is the act of legally placing a child with parents (or parent) who are not its natural parents. It has the effect of severing the parental responsibilities and rights of the birth parents and transferring them to the adoptive parents.  The child is said to be adopted.  The adopted child has two sets of parents: its natural parents and its adoptive parents.

It's easier with places.  

Example:

England is his adopted/adoptive country. (Both are acceptable, but adopted is much more common.)
 
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See also:

What are adjectives?
List of easily confused words