The exact meaning of adopt depends upon its context. For example:
"adopt a child" — to legally take on parental responsibilities for another person's child
"adopt a plan" — to accept or begin to use something
"adopt a pet" — to take in a pet — especially one from an animal shelter
"Congress adopted the resolution." — had a formal vote and passed
"adopted a confident attitude" — took on or displayed
Rather than succumbing to an adoption system overburdened with orphans, my siblings and I ran to the fringe—the same place where your mother also took refuge, years later—and only I came out of there alive.