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Even in the West we consider adoption to be legitimate.

Considering it is illegal in the UK and frowned upon by the IRS, it leads me to think you are confusing adoption of children with the adoption of adult men.

Note how often these adult men are being adopted along with marrying the daughter of the family. I dare say outside of Japan such an arrangement would be considered weird.

> being adopted along with marrying the daughter of the family.

How does that work? They become both husband and brother to the same person?

Yes, with the proviso that everyone understands that it's different and the taboo against incest doesn't kick in.

In practice what it means is that the couple adopts the family name of the wife, not the husband, which is the name associated with the family business that he's taking over.

Doesn't America have a history of adoption of adult men in gay couples? That allowed them to secure the legal rights of family members before gay marriage was legal. I remember some stories of it being a problem when gay marriage became legal, and they faced legal difficulties if they wanted to marry their adopted father or son.

Of adult males for the sole purpose of keeping a business as a "family" business?

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