Today I was cleaning out one of my filing cabinets and I came across a stack of papers from our first adoption five years ago. Of course it sidetracked my cleaning and I sat in my office and read through all the papers. Most of the information I was aware of from our years of being in the adoption world, but some of it was very new and real to me now as we parent Amos.
One thing I did come across was interesting to me and I’d love to get your feedback on it. It is a list of positive adoption language. I admit when we first began this adoption journey I was psycho about adoption language. I would get so mad if someone called Deacon’s first mom “mom” instead of “birth mom” or “first mom”. Now I could care less. He knows I’m his mom and he also knows that she is his mom too. She birthed him and carried him, I’ll gladly share the name with her. We talk about her all the time and have pictures of her in house. It doesn’t get to me like it used to. I wrote about that journey a long time ago HERE and HERE. There is one thing that still bothers me and that’s when people refer to Cayden as our own child and the others as the adopted ones. That urks me. They are all real and they are all mine. 🙂 I don’t get angry with the person, but the conversation usually goes like this after they find out we have adopted:
Stranger: Do you have any children of your own?
Me: yes they are all my own. One through birth and 3 through adoption.
That does it. They get the point. I’m not rude, but I’m just clarifying the reality of what they asked. 🙂
Anyhow here is the list on the paper I found of POSITIVE ADOPTION LANGUAGE. I will list what they listed as the negative adoption language first and beside it the positive adoption language.
Negative Adoption Language — Positive Adoption Language
Real Parent — Birthparent
Natural Parent — Biological Parent
Own Child — Birth Child
Adopted Child; Own child — My child
Illegitimate — Born to unmarried parents
Give up — Terminate parental rights
Give away — Make an adoption plan
Adoptable child; available child — Waiting child
Begettor — Biological father
Reunion — making contact with parent
Foreign adoption — International adoption
adoption triangle — adoption triad
Disclosure — Permission to sign a release
Track down parents — Search
An unwanted child — Child placed for adoption
Child taken away — court termination
Handicapped child — Child with special needs
Foreign child — Child from abroad
Is adopted — was adopted
There you go. What do you think about these? Any of them stupid to you? Any of them valid to you? There are some that I agree with and some I think are kinda foolish, but I’m not adoption counselor either. 🙂
If you are an adoptive parent or child that was adopted I’d love to hear your least favorite question you get asked! This should be fun!
*Photo by Jason Kovacs