Created By: Weaver on August 20, 2011 Last Edited By: c0ry on October 29, 2011
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Interspecies Adoption

A child is adopted by parents of a different species.

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Even in settings where talking, civilized, or funny animals exist, adoptions will still happen between parents and children. Some parents are caring enough to take in a child, regardless of their species. They may be animals raising a human child, humans raising an animal child, or even a combination of both. It doesn't matter, as adoption is still adoption, and parents will always be parents. The subject of the adoption may or may not even be an issue among society.

This is an over-trope of Raised by Wolves and some cases of Oblivious Adoption, as well as cases that aren't covered by either trope. May also overlap with Moses in the Bullrushes.


Examples:

Comics
  • Hellboy is a demon who was adopted by a human parent and raised to appreciate humanity, even if he constantly has to deal with the fact that he's frighteningly different from them anyway.
  • Superman is probably the most famous example of this trope. He's an alien sent to Earth as a baby, and he grew up on a farm by the Kent family.

Film
  • The Stuart Little movie did this to remove the Fridge Logic from the original book (where the titular character just had human parents for no apparent reason).
  • Giant panda Po's father in Kung Fu Panda is a duck; this goes unmentioned in the first movie, but becomes a minor plot element in the sequel.
  • In Thor, Loki turns out to be an Ice Giant adopted by Odin and raised as his own under a glamor.
  • Elf: Buddy is a human adopted by Santa Claus, and raised among elves.
  • Disney's The Ugly Dachshund. A Great Dane thinks he's a dachshund because he was raised by a dachshund mother.

Literature
  • In the Discworld novel Guards! Guards!, Carrot is a human adopted by dwarves. He is completely oblivious to this, even when his adoptive father tries to explain that there's a reason he was always too tall to fit in dwarf passages correctly. Notable in that even after it's been explained to him and he's accepted that he is biologically a human, Carrot still considers himself a dwarf, albeit a very tall one.
  • The Ugly Duckling is a classic example of this trope. A swan raised by a duck.
  • RuneScape: Betrayal at Falador, Kara was adopted and raised by dwarfs.

Live-Action TV
  • Worf was adopted by the Rozhenko family, a human couple from Russia. In turn, Worf's son Alexander Rozhenko was also raised by Worf's adoptive parents.

Video Games

Web Comics
  • Lindesfarne in Kevin & Kell.
  • The trolls in Homestuck. It's societal norm for them to be raised by another species. However, these guardians may or may not be totally sentient, and not all of them are good parents, so it also delves a bit into Raised by Wolves.

Web Original
  • Quite a few characters from Cerberus Daily News. Thus includes (but is not limited to) a Turian who was adopted by a human couple (Gahars Patnus), a human who was adopted by an Asari couple (Some_Random_Merc/Johnny), a Drell who has recently adopted a human infant (Rohim), a human whose legal guardian and father-figure is a Turian (Wildflower/Flower and Davril, respectively), and a human who was raised by a Quarian (Human Quarian/Kolya).

Western Animation
  • Heifer was raised by wolves. The Wolf family to be specific. They were just going to eat him, but decided not to an raised him as their own.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick adopted a baby scallop in one episode. It left other citizens quite confused when they thought about the biology involved.
  • Dinosaur Train: Buddy the T-Rex is adopted by a pteranodon family.
  • CatDog continually brought up one particular issue over the course of the series: Where did CatDog actually come from? For as long as they can remember, they'd always lived on their own. The series ended with CatDog going on a long journey to find their parents. It was never revealed how CatDog came to be, but for a brief time after they were born, they had been raised by a frog for a father and a sasquatch for a mother. They were all separated in a storm.

Real Life
  • Real Life examples involving animals like dogs, cats, and rabbits are a mainstay of websites like Cute Overload.
  • One of the strangest incidents of this kind occurred in Samburu, Kenya: a lioness adopted an oryx.
  • There is a famous joke about a turtle which constantly climbs up a tree and jumps down with its legs spread. After a few attempts (and the turtle getting quite a few traumas), a bird watching it from nearby asks its mate, "Should we tell our son he's adopted?"

Other
Community Feedback Replies: 41
  • August 20, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Because Raised By Wolves examples won't belong here, mentioning the Super Trope/Sub Trope relation in the lead is good enough, there's no need to mention it again in the examples list. Raised By Wolves primarily occurs in settings where humans are the only civilization of interest; while this one tends to occur more in settings where multi-species civilization is the norm.

    • Giant panda Po's father in Kung Fu Panda is a duck; this goes unmentioned in the first movie, but becomes a minor plot element in the sequel.
    • Mallow from Super Mario RPG, originally from Nimbus Land, was adopted by Frogfucius in Frog Pond, and grew up largely believing he was a frog "who can't jump".

  • August 20, 2011
    Bisected8
    • The Stuart Little movie did this to remove the Fridge Logic from the original book (where the titular character just had human parents for no apparent reason).
  • August 20, 2011
    randomsurfer
    Dinosaur Train: Buddy the T-Rex is adopted by a pteranodon family.
  • August 20, 2011
    jaytee
    [[ac:Web Original]]
  • August 20, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    • In the new Thor movie, Loki turns out to be an Ice Giant adopted by Odin and raised as his own under a glamour.
  • August 20, 2011
    Tzintzuntzan
    In the Discworld novel Guards! Guards!, Carrot is a human adopted by dwarves. He is completely oblivious to this, even when his adoptive father tries to explain that there's a reason he was always too tall to fit in dwarf passages correctly.
  • August 21, 2011
    randomsurfer
    • Elf: Buddy (again) is a human raised by elfs.
    • Disney's The Ugly Dachshund. A Great Dane thinks he's a dachshund because he was raised by a dachshund mother. Live Action film. (Do different breeds of dogs count? I don't know much about dog breeds, are they different species?)
    • The Ugly Duckling.
  • August 21, 2011
    fulltimeD
  • August 21, 2011
    magnum12
    • Adell in Disgaea2 is a demon adopted by humans as a result of his biological parents leaving to fight fake Zenon. They fail.
    • Penn in Soul Nomad is adopted by the Nereids. This is part of a breeding plan when he turns 18.
    • Hell Boy.
  • August 23, 2011
    randomsurfer
    This Bad Habits strip, which is also Oblivious Adoption.
  • August 23, 2011
    TBTabby
    (Never mind, my example was covered by Raised By Wolves.)
  • August 23, 2011
    GoopsWorld
  • August 23, 2011
    GymQuirk
    Semi-obscure comic book character... Kryptonian raised by human couple on a Kansas farm.
  • August 23, 2011
    Weaver
    Okay, who thinks this is ready to launch?
  • August 24, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    You should format it nice.
  • August 25, 2011
    HiddenFacedMatt
    ^ NiceLY. NiceLY.

    Anyway, I don't think you should be in a hurry to launch this. The examples could use some sorting, and it might be an idea to make sure you're sure about what this trope is (and that the title reflects that) before lanching it.
  • October 4, 2011
    Weaver
    Okay, I've sorted the examples and edited the description. Is it ready to launch yet?
  • October 5, 2011
    MagcargoMan
    Cat Dog were raised by a frog and a sasquatch.
  • October 5, 2011
    X2X
    Video Games
  • October 7, 2011
    TippyToeZombie
    Lindesfarne in Kevin And Kell.
  • October 9, 2011
    troacctid
  • October 9, 2011
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Real Life:
  • October 16, 2011
    X2X
    I think is ready to be launched, but a bit of cleanup is in order. I can do it for you if you want.
  • October 18, 2011
    MagcargoMan
  • October 19, 2011
    MagcargoMan
    Don't abbandon this. It's good.
  • October 21, 2011
    Weaver
    @X 2 X: Feel free. I'm not sure what to do on the clean-up front.
  • October 21, 2011
    NoirGrimoir
    Yeah, looks good to me, clean up and launch.
  • October 22, 2011
    DRCEQ
    Just added a Cat Dog example to the Western Animation section.
  • October 26, 2011
    DRCEQ
    I don't know what the originator of this trope was planning on doing with it, but I cleaned up the description to be a little bit more presentable. If nobody has any objections, I'll launch it in 3 days.
  • October 26, 2011
    Nibbles2
    I figured someone would have mentioned Samus Aran.

    • After her parents were killed by Space Pirates, Samus Aran was adopted by the Chozo, an ancient race of bird-like creatures that raised her and trained her to be what she is.
  • October 27, 2011
    X2X
    @ Weaver: Ok, I'm finished with my clean-up and I added any examples you missed. This looks good to go.
  • October 27, 2011
    ChunkyDaddy
    Might want to add this to Worf's entry:- Worf's son Alexander Rozheno was also raised by Worf's adoptive parents
  • October 27, 2011
    Takwin
    What about the trolls in Homestuck? It's societal norm for them to be raised by another species. However, these guardians may or may not be totally sentient, and not all of them are good parents; so it also delves a bit into Raised By Wolves.

  • October 27, 2011
    Duncan
    May overlap with Moses In The Bullrushes, as in the Superman example.

  • October 27, 2011
    Omeganian
    Neverwinter Nights 2. The protagonist's race can change, but the foster father is always the same.

    And there is that famous joke about a turtle which constantly climbs up a tree and jumps down with its legs spread. After a few attempts (and the turtle getting quite a few traumas) a bird watching it from nearby asks its mate "Should we tell our son he's adopted"?
  • October 27, 2011
    MagcargoMan
    Cat Dog: They were raised by a frog and a sasquatch, not a yeti.
  • October 27, 2011
    MagcargoMan
    So somebody fix it, unless it's Up For Grabs.
  • October 27, 2011
    X2X
    Ok, everything should be up to date. Is it Up For Grabs, or is Weaver just unavailable at the moment?
  • October 28, 2011
    ChunkyDaddy
    Sorry, made a typo in my comment above which went into the entry. It's Alexander Rozhenko not Alexander Rozheno
  • October 29, 2011
    MagcargoMan
  • October 29, 2011
    DRCEQ
    Sasquatches, Yetis... potayto, potahto.

    Anyways, I said I'd be launching it today since Weaver is nowhere to be found, and I am.
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