Positive Adoption Terms

Tomorrow will mark the official end to my first month at Adoption STAR, and I am looking forward to many many more months and years with the agency. Much of my first month has been spent learning about adoption and the adoption process. One aspect that the agency stresses is continual education, not just for the adoptive and birth parents, but for the staff as well.

One of the packets I received was entitled “The Importance of Positive Adoption Language.” This packet lists several positive adoption terms along with their negative counterparts. Two weeks ago I covered the use of “my child” instead of “adopted child or own child,” this week’s positive adoption term is Birth parent, and its unconstructive counterparts are real parent or natural parent.

In the adoption world, we do not feel that there is a “real parent,” as both the adoptive parents and birth parents play a large role in the child’s life, even if it is a closed adoption. The main quality of a parent is an undying and unconditional love for their child, so whether you are a birth or adoptive parent, the key word is parent,  and both are as “real” as the other.

We will look at another positive term next week, but what are some positive and/or unconstructive adoption terms that you have heard?