Positive Adoption Language: How to say what you need to say in the right way, and why it makes a difference.
When discussing adoption, whether with someone personally involved or in general, is a delicate task. You want to avoid giving the wrong impression about how you feel, or making someone doubt the decision they have made or plan on making. In the following list we’ll go over some commonly misused terminology, and how to express yourself in the best way possible.
1. Birth mom vs. real mom:
You never want to make a child feel as though their adoptive parents are not their real family, as they are now a family in every way that matters. Using the term “birth mom” avoids any such connotations, as well as keeps a birth mother from feeling alienated if they still want a connection with their child.
2. Placing your baby for adoption vs. giving your baby up for adoption:
A birth mother that chooses adoption is not giving up their child, they are simply placing them in the care of a loving family. Saying “placing your baby for adoption” makes it clear that you understand the choice they have made, and keeps a birth mother from questioning her decision.
3. Mother and father vs. adoptive mother and father:
As mentioned previously, parents that choose to adopt are now the family of the child. Using the general and natural terms “mother” and “father” make it clear that the child and the parents are now a family, and pave the way for an easier connection.
4. Parent her child vs. keep her child:
Using the term “keep her child” gives the impression that the child is an object, and fails to recognize the unique aspects of being a parent. Use “parent her child” instead, making clear the decision that has been made and the ongoing relationship between them.
The adoption process can be intimidating, but discussing it in the right way can make a big difference. Remember that what you say can really help, and that simply keeping these things in mind will change the way you express yourself for the better. For more information call or text us at: 888-307-3340 or visit us online at Adoption Choices of Texas.
Meet the Author: Elijah Weiner is currently studying English and East Asian Studies at Denison University, and spends the majority of his free time reading a good science fiction book. His interest has always been in fiction, so whether he is reading or writing it is always based upon the imaginary world.
Elijah lives in Boulder, Co and spends his free time reading or bicycling outdoors.