Positive Adoption Language

It has been a while since I wrote about positive adoption language, and whether you are discussing adoptees, adoptive parents or birth parents, it’s important to remember that adoption is an act of love. Today’s positive adoption terms are the birth mother’s choice “to parent” or “surrender/terminate their parental rights” and the negative counterparts are “to keep” or “give up” their child.

Expectant parents go through a difficult and heart-wrenching decision process on whether “to parent” their child or “surrender/terminate their parental rights.” These positive adoption terms give credit to birth parents for the decisions they make, instead of their negative counterparts “to keep” “and to give up.”

Birth parents are not deciding whether or not they WANT to “keep” or “give up” their child, they are making the decision of what they believe is best for the child. Their decision is whether they are in the right place in their life “to parent” their child or whether the right decision for them is to make an adoption plan.

It always amazes me to see reputable news organizations use the term “gave up for adoption” instead of “made an adoption plan” or “surrendered/terminated their parental rights.” Have you ever been in a situation to correct or educate someone about “positive” birth parent language? How did you handle it?