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10 Adoption Terms You Must Know

By Xihan Sun

If you are a birth mother who has made the brave decision of giving your child up for adoption, we want to congratulate you on your courageous act. Adoption can be overwhelming both physically and emotionally, so it is important for you and the adoptive parents to be familiar with the term “Positive Adoption Language”(PAL). PAL helps make this process much smoother. Here are ten terms that are helpful for you throughout the adoption process.

1. Positive Adoption Language

The term positive adoption language refers to positive phrases we use to describe various factors and topics of adoption. We recommend using PAL since adoption is a beautiful process of bringing better life opportunities to your baby while creating new families. Using PAL is an act of respect and love for the baby, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents. 

2. Birth Mother & Birth Father

The definition of a birth mother/father is the biological mother/father of a child who makes an adoption plan and places her/his child for adoption. The identity of birth mothers/fathers may vary in different ways, such as age, marital status, financial situation, education, etc. 

3. Relinquishment

The term relinquishment refers to the idea of the birth parents, like you, voluntarily giving up your child for adoption. Legally, parental rights are often transferred to local adoption agencies to maintain the level of privacy required by the birth parents. Then, adoption agencies transfer parental rights to adoptive parents. 

4. Open Adoption

Open adoption means birth mothers will keep direct contact with adoptive parents and make annual visits to the baby. Through open communication with the adoptive parents and your child, you will be more involved in the growth of your child. 

5. Semi-Closed Adoption

Semi-open adoption refers to a more flexible contact plan which allows you to change the level of contact over time. Birth parents will have access to contact adoptive parents through adoption agencies. Semi-Closed adoption is a wonderful option as it provides birth parents the opportunity to hear from their children without having to interfere with their life.

6. Closed Adoption

Closed adoption suggests that there will be no direct contact between birth mothers and adoptive families. For this type, birth parents and adoptive parents will not know the identity of each other. Furthermore, birth parents will not be involved in the children’s life. Adoption is an important decision, and we have more information and details on these types of adoption on adoption agency Dallas for you to carefully assess the type of adoption you want.


ICPC stands for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which lawfully requires adoptive parents to meet various standards of both the adoptive state and the adoptive parents’ original state. This compact protects children moving between states for adoptive purposes.

8. Private Adoption Agency 

private adoption agency refers to an adoption center that promotes the adoption process by working with both birth parents and adoptive parents in order to support everyone involved in the adoption plan. You will find more information about local adoption agencies from the adoption agency Dallas

9. Adoption Plan

Making an adoption plan is important once you have chosen “adoption for my baby.” It is a plan for your baby’s future. The simple definition is that the adoption plan is what you want for yourself and the baby. You will have options to choose not only the types of adoption you want but also choose the adoptive family based on your preference. There will be other options for you in the plan, such as the types of financial support and emotional support you will need. 

10. Transracial Adoption

Transracial adoption happens when the baby and adoptive parents are of different races or ethnic groups. This type of adoption is common as more people understand that understanding and respecting children’s cultural backgrounds and helping them maintain a connection to their cultures will help them succeed in life.  

To All Texas Birth Mothers

We want you to know that adoption is and always will be an option, no matter where you are in your pregnancy. We at Adoption Choices of Texas want to share all of the resources and assistance we have to offer in order to make your adoption experience as smooth as possible.

As an expectant woman or birth parent, to learn more about adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Texas. You can call us at 945-444-0333, text us at 945-444-0333, or email us here. If you are hoping to adopt, please visit us here. We look forward to helping you through your adoption journey!

Adoption Choices of Texas es la única agencia de adopción con servicios completamente en esapñol en el estado de Texas. Si está embarazada y necesita ayuda, llámenos o envíenos un mensaje de texto y uno de nuestros especialistas en adopción podrá ayudarlo. Podemos ayudarte con la adopcion de niños. Para obtener más información sobre el proceso de adopción como una mujer embarazada o una madre biológica, comuníquese con Adoption Choices of Texas. Para español llamar: 888-510-5029


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Serving Expectant Parents Statewide
Birth Parent Hotline: 945-444-0333 (Call  24/7)

 Or Text: 945-444-0333

Adoptive Parents instead, call: 832-971-1358

Para español llamar: 888-510-5029

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