In Adoptive freemasonry, a female lodge is 'adopted' by a
male lodge but otherwise works much like any other lodge. The traditional United
Grand Lodge of England (U.G.L.E.)-freemasonry, the one from which almost all
other lodges ultimately derive their authority, does not recognize and has never
recognized women freemasonry. There are, however, two traditions of female
freemasonry: Adoptive Freemasonry, most popular in the United States and
Androgynous Freemasonry, that is, lodges admitting both men and women.
Women's lodges existed as early as the 18th century, apparently coexisting with men's lodges. When the Duchess of Bourbon was appointed Grand Mistress of Adoptive masonry in France in 1775, the order worked the four degrees of Apprentice, Companion, Mistress and Perfect Mistress. These adoptive lodges were so called because they were 'adopted' by conventional masculine lodges.
Whether such organizations as the Order of the Eastern Star are genuine adoptive lodges or not is disputable, but a Master Mason serves as patron of each Eastern Star lodge, and he must be present for initiations.
American Adoptive freemasonry in particular seems to place a great deal more emphasis on Christianity and Christian symbolism than masculine freemasonry. Instead of taking rituals from Egyptian of Hebrew sources, adoptive lodges are much more likely to turn to the Bible.
Adoptive masonry hardly exist in Europe any more. There it has been replaced by Co-Masonry and female freemasonry.
Halfway the nineteenth century this form spread to the United States, where
various orders were founded. Most of them have disappeared since then.
One of the orders worked twelve degrees:
The largest order which most charachterize as adoptive is the Order of the Eastern Star. Other orders are for example the Order of the Amaranth, Heroines of Jericho (for female relatives of Royal Arch Masons) and Ladies of Knights Templar.