Adoptees, adoptive parents, Birth Parents, Parenting

Adoption Language

We hear them in movies and TV shows all the time “she gave up her baby”, “those are his real parents” and so on. These are uneducated terms and statements that we hear in regards to adoption all the time. Some people might not even realize it, but to those connected to adoption, these terms are hurtful and often disrespectful. The truth is this, how you say something is just as important as what of what you’re saying. Using positive adoption language means choosing words that show respect to everyone-birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees. Below are some of the terms you should use and avoid.

Positive: Making an adoption plan for your child, arranging for an adoption, placing the child in a loving home.

Negative: Give away your child, abandon, surrender, release, relinquish, adopted out, or put up for adoption.

Positive: Birthmother, biological mother, birthfather, father of the baby, biological father, birthparent, or biological parent.

Negative: Real parent, natural parent, real mother, natural mother, real father, natural father, real family, natural family.

Positive: Adoptive parents (Only necessary if the conversation is specifically about adoption).

Negative: Not the real parents.

Positive: Choosing to parent.

Negative: Keeping the child.

Positive: Was Adopted

Negative: Is Adopted


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