Adoption is an in-game event which allows new Sims (aged child or younger) or pets to join a household. Adoption differs from pregnancy and birth in that the new children are not genetically related to the adopting parents. However, adopted children are treated as full family members. Adoption is available in many games in The Sims series, including all four main titles.
In The Sims, unlike later games, only babies can be adopted, and Sims cannot initiate an adoption. If a Sim household contains at least two adults, regardless of gender, some of the random phone calls it receives will be from an adoption center. These calls will usually occur around 4pm, and will ask the player to decide if the Sims should adopt a baby at that time.
The Sims 2
In The Sims 2, a Sim can initiate adoption over the phone by calling the Adoption Center under the Service menu. The adopting household must have at least §3,000 on hand (though adoption itself is free of charge) and fewer than eight Sims or ten household members (including pets and roommates). Additionally, if a Sim initiating adoption has a memory of losing a child to the social worker, they will be rejected for adoption; this restriction does not apply to other adult Sims in the same household who do not have that memory.
If the adoption is approved, the Social Worker will bring the adoptee at 10 AM the next day.[n 1] To make sure someone is there to receive the child, it is best to call the day before a Sim's day off. The player gets to decide if the Sim adopts a baby, toddler, or child, but cannot select the adoptee's gender. If a baby is being adopted and the baby was not taken away from another household, the player will be prompted to name the baby; children and toddlers will always come pre-named. Adopted Sims will be given the last name of the Sim that initiated the adoption. If any kids have been taken by the Social Worker in that neighborhood, they will be first-in-line for adoption for their age group. If the game generates the baby, toddler, or child to be adopted, that Sim's personality may be subject to the "first born effect" even if his or her appearance is not.
The Social Worker will usually remain on the lot for a while after the child has been dropped off and Buy and Build modes will be disabled until she has left. If the player exits without saving after Buy and Build modes are re-enabled, the adoption will be undone and can be re-done the next time the player loads the lot.
It's been observed that if a couple adopts and the parent who called adoption service dies before the adoptee has been given to the household, the adoptee will not recognize the living parent as their parent and won't have the parent's last name. The adoptee will recognize the deceased parent in their family tree. If the couple already had an offspring before deciding to adopt, the adoptee will recognize them as their sibling. It has also been observed that adoption does not fulfill the "Have a child" want, but it fulfills the "Get a Grandchild" want. This is likely because there is a specific "Adopt a Child" want.
The Sims 3
In The Sims 3, a Sim can initiate adoption over the phone. Once adoption is chosen, the Social Worker will arrive on the home lot immediately, but will opt to come back later if there are no young adult, adult, or elder Sims on the home lot. The player will be asked to pick the age and gender of the adoptee and can choose his or her name The adopted Sim is given the last name of the Sim who made the call. If a baby is adopted, the adoptive parents will get a few days off work. Families are not allowed to adopt for the next five days[confirmation needed] if the Social Worker has previously taken away anyone in their household. Also, if the adopter has a memory[TS3:G] of having a child taken away from them, they will not be allowed to adopt. [confirmation needed]
The Sims 4
In The Sims 4, a Sim can use a computer to initiate an adoption by choosing "Household", then "Adopt". Each adoption costs §1,000. The player will be shown a pool of adoptable babies, toddlers and children, and can choose from that pool. After selecting a child, the Sim will walk off the lot and will return home with the baby, toddler or child after a period of time. Once the Sim has returned, the child's first and last name can be changed if the player so desires. Like in The Sims 3, adoptive parents will get a few days off work, regardless of their age.
Unlike previous games in The Sims series, previous cases of neglecting babies or toddlers will not be held against the adopting household.
If the last Sim that is not a baby, toddler, or child in a household dies, and there are younger Sims in the same household, a message saying that there are no more older Sims to take care of the children and social services will take it from there will pop up, giving the player the choice to save and go to the "Manage Worlds" screen, or exit to the main menu. No social workers will actually appear and the game will simply pause. It is not known if the younger Sims will be made available for adoption in this case.
Children in The Sims 2 who have been taken away from a family by a social worker are first in line in their age bracket to be adopted by another family.
When a child who was taken away from another family is adopted, their old parents and siblings will remain known to them but only as friends. In addition, their memories will be erased. On rare occasions, the adopted child will keep their old family tree and will not be related to their new adoptive family.
When planning to have Sims adopt a pet, players should remember that each pet will take up a family slot. In Unleashed and Cats & Dogs, a lot can only have a total of eight pets or Sims in one house. In The Sims 2: Pets and The Sims 3: Pets, a lot can have a total of ten household members, but no more than eight Sims and no more than six pets.
The Sims: Unleashed
In The Sims: Unleashed, pets can be adopted on community lots in Old Town that have the Frisky Feline Promo Pen and/or the Fluffy Puppy Pet Bin. By default, these displays can be found in Pet Paradise, at 70 Elm Street. Adopting a pet costs §399. Players will be able to choose the gender of the pet and select from a number of breeds, but the pet will have a random personality. Players can use custom pet skins, but a pet cannot be customized once it has been selected.
For a Sim to be able to adopt a pet in Unleashed, the player must use the "Explore Old Town" option to call the cab to Old Town. If the Sim took a date to Old Town, the option to adopt will not appear.
Sims can also befriend and adopt strays. If the stray is on the Sim's home lot, the "Adopt" interaction will appear if the relationship between the stray and the Sim is high enough to allow adoption.
The Sims 2: Pets
In The Sims 2: Pets, Sims can use a telephone to call the pet adoption service and adopt a kitten or puppy , or an adult cat or dog. The pet adoption service has a pool of pets that are available for adoption; players cannot customize them in any way. What happens after the call is made may depend on which other expansion packs are installed.[confirmation needed] With FreeTime installed, the pet will arrive shortly after the call was made, and will have an extra day added to its lifespan if it arrives before roughly 11 AM. Another possibility is that, if the call was made before 10 AM, the pet will arrive that day, or will otherwise arrive at 10 AM the next day. Sims can also call the pet adoption service to give a pet up, in which case it will go into the adoption pool. Pets will also be added to the adoption pool if they are taken away from a household due to neglect. Unlike when children are taken away, Sims who have had a pet taken away are free to adopt that pet, or any other pet in the adoption pool.
Sims can adopt adult cats and dogs on community lots that have the Cat-Crazy Pet Display and/or Doggonit Pet Display. Players can use one of the premade pet shops in the Lots and Houses bin or can build their own. These displays allow players to access a streamlined version of Create a Pet. Unlike the version in CAS, this one does not allow players to select collars, and can create both cats and dogs. So, regardless of whether a display shows a cat or a dog, the player will be able to create either species. The base fee for adoption is §399, but it may be higher if the pet has learned any behaviors or commands. Unlike The Sims: Unleashed, a family can adopt a pet from a pet shop even if only one member travels to the shop.
Players who want to simulate a free adoption of an adult or elder pet can go into CAS, create a cat or dog, and merge it into an existing (non-University) household.
Sims can also befriend and adopt strays. If the relationship between the stray and the Sim is high enough to allow adoption, the "Adopt" interaction will appear if the stray is on the Sim's home lot, and may appear if the stray is on a community lot. Players should note that adopting a stray may not fulfill the want to obtain a pet.
If a household has a pet, it can be given up for adoption by using the telephone and selecting that option from the "Services..." menu.
Players should note that playable Sims autonomously visiting a pet shop may autonomously adopt a pet. The next time that Sim's household is played, the player will be notified of this, and given the opportunity to accept or reject the adoption. A mod from More Awesome Than You will prevent autonomous pet adoptions.
The process of adoption may consume a lot of game resources and may take a long time to complete, which may cause the adoption pool window to fail to appear, the calling Sim to get stuck, or even the game to become unresponsive.
The Sims 3: Pets
Pets can be either adopted or given up for adoption. The option to give up a pet for adoption can be found on Sims' computers, laptops, and cell phones. Sims can also call the adoption service via computer, newspaper, or cell phone in order to adopt a pet. The player is able to choose to either adopt a neighborhood pet given up for adoption or a minor one from the pet shop. When adopting from the pet shop, a list will show up. It will show various pets categorized by species, and will have information about their life stages, breeds and traits.
After choosing the desired pet, a randomly generated NPC will arrive and deliver the pet to its new home. If the Sim neglects the pet, the adoption service will come back to remove it from the owners.
The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs
In The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs Sims can adopt either a cat or a dog through their computers or phones. The adoption fee is §200 per pet, and Sims can adopt up to three animals at once.
When choosing the adoption selection button on the computer, a pool of cats or dogs will appear. Traits are visible and usually include the animals gender, traits, and whether it is neutered/spayed. Available ages are kitten/puppy and adult.
After selecting through the pool of available pets up for adoption, an adoption agent will appear in current lot being used. Players will then have the option to interact and play with the pet in question. After a few interactions Sims are then given the option to adopt the pet. Once the adoption fee has been paid, Sims have the option to change or randomize the pets' names, as well as pick a last name for them.
The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs also includes the option to adopt strays. Sims simply approach the animal, interact with it and are then given the option to adopt it.
- "The next day" appears to be determined by the day of the week indicated on the game clock.