Mother can often apply to a woman other than the biological parent, especially if she fulfills the main social role in raising the child. This is commonly either an adoptive mother or a stepmother (the biologically unrelated wife of a child's father). The term "othermother" or "other mother" is also used in some contexts for women who provide care for a child not biologically their own in addition to the child's primary mother.
Adoption, in various forms, has been practiced throughout history. Modern systems of adoption, arising in the 20th century, tend to be governed by comprehensive statutes and regulations. In recent decades, international adoptions have become more and more common.
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Famous quotes containing the word mother:
“The great, the jewel and the mother of battles has begun.”
—Saddam Hussein (b. 1937)