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The Importance of Using Positive Adoption Language

The language that you use to talk about something can reflect how you really feel. When talking about the adoption process, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t give the wrong impression or feed into the negative stereotypes of adoption by the use of certain terms or phrases that have negative connotations.

If you aren’t sure how to do this, don’t worry. Adoption Choices of Texas is here to help. Here are two examples of how to use positive adoption language. If you need help with adoption now, you can call us at 888-307-3340, text us at 888-307-3340, or email us here.

Place My Child vs. Give Up My Child for Adoption

The term “give up” is commonly heard when talking about adoption, but this term is associated with the negative idea of loss. It also makes the child sound like an object and not a human being. It implies that the birth mother had no choice but to relinquish her child. This is far from the truth. Adoption is a choice that every pregnant woman can make. A lot of careful thought and consideration goes into adoption. 

In fact, a birth mother choosing adoption will make an adoption plan that carefully outlines her adoptive journey. The adoption process cannot and should not be described as a giving up of one’s child, but rather as a transitioning of a child into his or her adoptive family. That is why the term is becoming, “placing my baby for adoption.” This accurately describes what adoption is and affirms the birth mother’s selfless decision. 

Birth Mother vs. Real Mom

Use the term “birth mother” or “birth parent” to refer to the biological parent of the child being placed for adoption. This term accurately describes the biological parents as what they are: birth parents. There are no negative connotations with this term. 

If you use the term, “real” parents or “real “mom, then it could imply that the adoptive parents are not the adoptive child’s real family. That they are somehow lesser than biological parents. Adoptive families love and care for their child, no differently than a family who has not gone through the adoption process. 

It might be helpful to also refer to the adoptive mother and father of the baby as, simply, mother and father. Using this kind of positive adoption language can make it clearer that this child and their adoptive parents are now a family.

Why Positive Adoption Language is Important

Choosing to use positive language when describing birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees matters. You want to make sure that the words you are using accurately portray adoption for what it is: a valid way of creating a family. You do not want to use phrases that would invalidate or disrespect anyone involved in the adoption process. 

It is important to be respectful towards all involved in adoption. To help combat all the inaccurate stereotypes that surround it. By using positive adoption language, everyone will feel more welcomed. Birth mothers, adoptive parents and adoptees will feel more accepted. Adoption is a positive event in many people’s lives, and it should be described using words that reflect that. 

If you are ever unsure if something you are about to say is positive or negative, just ask. It is better to educate yourself than to unknowingly hurt someone. Adoption Choices of Texas is here for you, so don’t be afraid to reach out to us with any questions.

As an expectant woman or birth parent, to learn more about adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Texas. You can call us at 888-307-3340, text us at 888-307-3340, or email us here. If you are hoping to adopt, please visit us here. We look forward to helping you through your adoption journey!

Meet the Author: Heather Frederick is in her fourth and final year at Siena College and lives in Delmar, New York. She is completing her BFA in English and has written several plays,The Vagabond, Paneless, and Yours, for the Oppressed. On most days, you can find her in the kitchen baking and singing to showtunes. 

As a member of the BTS Army, she likes to spend time listening to Kpop and learning dance choreography.

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