Relinquishment: In the context of adoption, this term generally refers to a birthparent voluntarily giving up his or her parental rights to a child, so that someone else can adopt it. In practice it generally refers to these parental rights being transferred to an agency, rather than directly to the new adoptive parents, so that the agency can maintain the level of confidentiality or privacy that the parties desire and have agreed to in the adoption. The agency then passes the parental rights on to the adoptive parents who adopt the child. The term "Relinquishment" is also very commonly used to refer to the actual relinquishment documents that are signed by the birth parents as part of the relinquishment process.