This chapter begins by exploring the origins of adoption law in Japan and briefly considers its social role. It provides an overview of the law relating to adoption and human rights and outlines current adoption legislation together with the related regulatory framework. The chapter examines the statistical data on trends in the contemporary use of adoption: noting characteristic aspects, and gives particular attention to the distinction between 'ordinary' and 'special' forms of adoption. It identifies the main points of intersection between human rights and adoption law at each of the sequential stages in the adoption process and considers their significance. Despite its singular characteristics, many of the principles prominent in the adoption law of other developed nations clearly also govern adoption practice in Japan and others tend to be quietly accommodated. The Japanese adoption process has little trace of the altruism generally associated with the process in other countries.