Since I've been asked these questions a lot, I thought to write some journals about it. This is from an Adopter's point of view.
What are adoptables?
Adoptables are "designs" that you can purchase for your personal use or, in specific cases and only if the original artist permits it, for commercial use. They can be animals, humans, objects... Anything and everything can be turned into an adoptable.
What exactly *is* it that I'm adopting?
You're adopting the *design* itself, not the colours, not the art, just the character design.
Take this adoptable:
Art = The drawing itself = Right remains to the artist, unless stated otherwise
Original Species = The lines = Right remains to the artist, unless the species is for adoption too (Not valid in case of existing species such as wolves, cats, etc....)
Colouring = Black coat/Golden wings/Pattern on Tail = Right remains to the artist
Design = (Original Species + Colouring)