Sunday, December 10, 2006
An Opportunity to Educate The Public!
Positive terms to use when talking about adoption
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 12/10/06
BY MICHAEL RILEY
The language of adoption has changed — or, at least, people involved in the adoption process are hoping it will change.
The people at Adoptions From The Heart are working hard at it: They hand out sheets of paper titled "Positive Adoption Language" to educate people on the do's and don't's of how to talk about it. What follows are excerpts from their literature.
Use terms such as:
Birth mother, birth father, birth family, birth parent, birth child.
Remember that all of us have birth parents, but not all of us live with them.
Parent, mother, father, mommy, daddy and child.
These words describe members of the adoptive family. It isn't necessary to say adopted child or adoptive parents unless the situation specifically centers on adoption.
Make an adoption plan, choose adoption, arrange an adoption, place a child in an adoptive home.
These terms acknowledge that the birth parents were responsible for and active in making this decision.
Parent her child.
This phrase is used to express when a birth parent decides not to choose adoption.
Avoid terms such as:
Abandoned, surrendered, released, relinquished, gave up for adoption, gave away, adopted out or put up for adoption.
Real parent, real mother, real father and real family.
When used to describe the birth family, these terms suggest that the adoptive family relationships are artificial and temporary.
Natural parents, natural child, one of your own.
These terms imply that the relationships in an adoptive family are not as strong or lasting as the relationships created by birth.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR SHOULD BE SENT TO: email@example.com