I've blogged about this before, but I feel I MUST post it again. I admit, I haven't run into many issues regarding Adoption Language...thankfully.

Unfortunately, there are a few people out there that don't seem to understand their words can be EXTREMELY hurtful. It really stings when someone refers to your child as anything less than YOURS. I think the blinkie in my sidebar sums it up quite nicely.

What is...

A Natural Child? Any Child that is not artificial.
A Real Parent? Any Parent that is not imaginary.
Your own Child? Any Child that is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child? A Natural Child, with a Real Parent, who is all my own!

So for those of you that don't already know, here are some tips on how to refer to other people's "Adopted Children"...

Use Positive language (Negative language is noted in parentheses)

Just say...
Birthparent (Don't say "Real parent"! It's crass)

Biological parent (Don't say "Natural parent" because we are NOT artificial!)

Birth child (Don't say "Own child" because he/she IS all my own)

Your child (Don't refer to my child as "Your adopted child" He/She is just my child. Plain and simple. I don't describe your child with a verb. How would you like for me to say, "I am going to pick up their short child from Kindergarten for them" It's the same thing.)

Terminating parental rights (Don't say "Giving up" because not all adopted children were voluntarily placed for Adoption.)

Made an adoption plan (It's much nicer than "Gave away"!)

Chose to parent (Don't say "Chose to keep")

Waiting child (Adoptable child)

Making contact with (Reunion)

Parent (Again, I am her PARENT, not her "Adoptive parent")

Child placed for adoption (NEVER say "An unwanted child")

Child with special needs (Handicapped child)

Child from abroad (Don't use the term, "Foreign child". This is self explainable)

Was adopted ("Is adopted" places a label on a child. WAS Adopted is past tense. We've moved on and she is now a permanent member of our family.)

2 messages:

  1. jeneflower said...

    Recently I was with an adoptive mother and someone we were with said to her,

    "Really. I didn't know your child was adopted! I thought she was your real child."

    She didn't respond so I said, "She is her real child."

    The adoptive mom just looked at me and said, "Thank you."  

  2. M said...

    Amen to that!!!

    I hope you don't mind that I copied this to my blog.  


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