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ADOPTION: THE POTREA PROTESTUS


Our concept of adoption is far different from the concept of adoption in the New Testament. In most cases, an adopted child, at that time, was most honored than natural children. And in all cases, to be adopted by someone was considered a special privilege.


In the Roman customs, adoption includes a process. Since the child to be adopted is under the 'Potrea Protestus' of his father, there should be a negotiation.


The process is divided into two:


1. Mansupoteo – This is a symbolic sort of sale. If the father would agree to let his son be adopted by another man, there was this symbolic sale they went to; they had some scales and some copper and they used this symbolism to carry out sort of a transaction like "I'm selling this young man to you." They did it three times. Twice the father symbolically sold the son, and twice he bought him back, and then the third time he didn't buy him back and the Potrea Protestus was broken.


2. 'Vindicateo' – The ceremony wherein the adopting father went to the Roman magistrate and presented a legal case for the actual legal transference of the person to be adopted into his own Potrea Protestus. And when all this was complete, the adoption was done.

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