Something or someone that has been taken in or accommodated by another person or group of people. In business terms, an adoptee could mean a company or employee who another company or employer has taken.
“Adoptee” comes from the word “adopt,” which is a verb, and it means either to take a child into your custody or to start to apply a particular rule or way of living in a day-to-day routine. Some children might be orphans or abandoned left to orphanages and children’s homes with no family. Some well-wishers might decide to take some of the children into their care. This act of deciding to accommodate and raise a child who is not your own is what we refer to as adoption.
The first adoption cases go as far back as the 6th century in ancient Rome when a family patriarch was almost dying without an heir. The family adopted a child who would be an heir to the family, which ensured the family’s generational wealth stayed within the family. Families with many sons often gave them up for adoption to the nobles to form the desired family connection with them. From these scenarios, we learn that adoption goes way back to the ancient ages.
Once adopted, the adoptee is considered part of the family or the social circle of the adopter. You can apply the same principle in business in the sense that a company can decide to absorb another and create a merger, which is a collaboration between two companies who have decided to join their resources and become one new unit to make more profit. Mergers mainly form when the companies are competing for the same market and offer the same kind of services. A company can also decide to adopt another in the same way.
Real-World Example of an Adoptee
As discussed in the above sub-section, an adoptee is a business that another has absorbed. A real-life example is the social media conglomerate Facebook which Mark Zuckerberg owns. Facebook has been the biggest social media platform for a long time and has the most users among all the social media, which proves that Facebook is a conglomerate in social media.
In this new era where social media is an essential tool in marketing, branding, communicating, and advertising, many other social media platforms have come up recently to offer competition to Facebook. The likes of Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram, Snapchat, and most recently Tik Tok have proven to be key Facebook competitors. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012 and Whatsapp for $19 billion in 2014. Both Instagram and Whatsapp are some of the most established social media, but they are under the big brand, which is Facebook.
In the case of Instagram and Whatsapp, we can comfortably conclude that Facebook has adopted the two services. They all work as one unit, and they all bring profit to the parent company, which is also their biggest shareholder. Nonetheless, the two adoptees continue offering their services to their users, and their market hasn’t changed one bit. The only difference is that Facebook now owns them. Therefore, both Whatsapp and Instagram are adoptees of Facebook.
Significance of Adoptee
In the first section, I said that the nobles in ancient Rome often adopted sons to keep their generational wealth, especially when there was no heir. The adoptees, therefore, acted as a channel to the coming generations and continued the families’ legacies. In business, you can apply this same principle to the businesses adopted by other companies. Whatsapp and Instagram, for instance, have been adopted by Facebook and continue to bring in profit.
Adoptees in business, therefore, act as partners of the leading company but are subordinate to the parent company since it absorbed them. They play a significant role in the parent company’s financial status since they now act as one company. A blow to the operations of any of the adoptees directly affects the parent company. Just like in families, if an adopted child dies, the whole family mourns them as they were part of the family, even though they were not related by blood.