Parenting is the process of promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, social, and intellectual development of a child from infancy to adulthood. Parenting refers to the activity of raising a child rather than the biological relationship.
In the case of humans, it is usually done by the biological parents of the child in question, although governments and society take a role as well. In many cases, orphaned or abandoned children receive parental care from non-parent blood relations. Others may be adopted, raised by foster care, or be placed in an orphanage.
The goals of human parenting are debated. Usually, parental figures provide for a child's physical needs, protect them from harm, and impart in them skills and cultural values until they reach legal adulthood, usually after adolescence. Among non-human species, parenting is usually less lengthy and complicated, though mammals tend to nurture their young extensively. The degree of attention parents invest in their offspring is largely inversely proportional to the number of offspring the average adult in the species produces.