Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adoption Language

There is some language special to adoption as I have learned in my reading of books and blogs, and attending adoption seminars. To some the words are just words, necessary to differentiate all the people involved in an adoption (aka the adoption triad). For some the words are emotionally charged and if used without care, can offend. Here are some definitions:

Expectant parents: A couple who conceived a baby and generally are going to be expecting that baby to arrive about 9 months later.

Adoptive parents: People who want to adopt a baby or child or have adopted. Some prefer to drop the "adoptive" part unless it is particularly important to differentiate it for some specific purpose, because, after adopting, on a day to day basis, they don't go around feeling "adoptive", they just feel the parent part.

Birth parents: People who decide for a variety of reasons, to place a child for adoption (aka make an adoption plan). The Birth mother is the woman who conceives, is pregnant with, and delivers the baby. Some people have other preferences: First mother, or Natural mother, or just Mother. This can be a hot topic, and I am going to break it down more in a later blog. The terms and the debate about the terms, highlight intense feelings. Acknowledgement, respect and sensitivity are key.

Adoption triad: Birth parents, adoptive parents and baby make up the triad. It is a shorthand way to refer to all involved. A piece of jewlrey has been designed around the concept, with an intertwined heart and triangle representing the love in the triad.

Adoption plan: For example: "We are making an adoption plan for our baby." People use terms like "placing the baby for adoption" or "giving up the baby." Adoption professionals like the term Adoption Plan because it implies thoughtful planning, made with care. To say "giving up" the baby sounds too much like giving away the baby as an obect or giving up on the baby, and does not reflect why women may choose adoption or how women feel about their babies, whose welfare they are extremely protective of.

So that is intro to adoption terms 101. Thanks for reading!


No comments:

Post a Comment