Monday, August 20, 2012


Positive Adoption Language - this is something that comes up all the time. I have had friends ask me to explain the right words to use for what. It might not seem like a big deal, but words have huge power, and they will shape the way those in the adoption triad feel about themselves. Most people don't mean ill, or disrespect when they use incorrect terms, but they can be very hurtful nonetheless. Remember, you can always ask if you don't know the answer! Help to educate those around you so that the language surrounding adoption can shift, and with it, dispel misconceptions.

So (with a help from Adoptive Families Magazine) here we go:

Postive Language                          Negative Language
Birthparent                                         Real parent
Biological parent                                Natural parent
Birth child                                          Own child
My child                                            Adopted child; Own child
Born to unmarried parents                  Illegitimate
Terminate parental rights                    Give up
Make an adoption plan                      Give away
To parent                                          To keep
Waiting child                                      Adoptable child; available child
Biological or birthfather/mother          Real father/mother
Making contact with                          Reunion
Parent                                               Adoptive parent
Intercountry adoption                        Foreign adoption
Adoption triad                                  Adoption triangle
Permission to sign a release               Disclosure
Search                                              Track down parents
Child placed for adoption                  An unwanted child
Court termination                              Child taken away
Child with special needs                    Handicapped child
Child from abroad                             Foreign child
Was adopted                                    Is adopted

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