Understanding Positive Adoption Language

Understanding Positive Adoption Language

For a birth mother, the journey of adoption can produce wonderful feelings such as joy, comfort, gratitude and excitement. Unfortunately, some unwanted feelings like doubt, regret, and guilt can consume a birth mother's mind as well. In order to maintain a positive attitude, there will need to be a positive vocabulary before, during and after the adoption process. 

Understanding positive adoption language will introduce birth mothers and family members to a new territory of emotional depth. Our staff at Adoption Choices of Reno will ask you to take notice that this article is meant to encourage all participants in the adoption; the birth mother, the supportive family and the adoptive parents themselves should be understanding positive adoption language for the sake of mental nourishment.

What is Positive Adoption Language?

When it comes down to it, the fundamentals of a positive adoption vocabulary are parallel to the gracious and encouraging words people consciously choose today. Negative words or remarks can cut deep into one's feelings, even if there were no ill intentions. This similarly occurs to birth mothers when an individual or group uses words that disregard compassion. One family member may refer to adoption as "giving up a child." A comment like this can painfully strike the emotions of a birth mother, making her feel like a failure or coward. While phrases like this are not usually used maliciously, we can all -- including the birth mother -- make an effort to reinforce our words that don't have a tendency to be destructive.

Positive adoption language refers to a list of words that are preferred when describing adoption, in order to show compassion and understanding. The harsh alternatives of these words can affect both the birth mother and the adoptive parents. For example, referring to the birth mother as the "real parent" can possibly undermine the significance adoptive parents feel towards their child. A preferred phrase would be "birth parent." A small change like this, whoever spoken by, can introduce much more healthy thoughts to the adoption journey.

How can I Learn Positive Adoption Language?

Understanding positive adoption language should not become any kind of burden. The core principle of positive rhetoric is meant to keep individuals away from self-destructive and shameful thoughts. The best way to learn uplifting words and phrases will always start with your intentions. Whether you're a supporting family member, adoptive parent or birth mother, acknowledging what makes adoption special rather than the stress it can entail, will surely keep your perspective on the brightside.

For your benefit, here are a few listed examples of harsh words and phrases in comparison to positive adoption language:

  • Is adopted vs. Was adopted 

  • Real mother vs. Birth Mother

  • Gave up vs. Placed for adoption 

  • Keeping vs. Parenting

  • Adopted Baby vs. My/his/her baby

  • The child vs. Your child

You are also highly encouraged to conduct a brief internet search on positive adoption language. Here, you will find a variety of input on the best words and phrases to use. You will also see diagrams, similar to the one above, contrasting two different words that share the same meaning. One will contain hopeful dialogue, while the other will consist of blunt and possibly condescending material. For example, "your child" and "the child" share similar utility. However, using a small word like “the” can influence a birth mother or adoptive parent into believing that their child doesn't have a true home.

Keeping an understanding of these words is not expected to be done alone. We also encourage you to reach out to Adoption Choices of Reno to speak with one of our staff in the adoption agency. We will provide much more insight on adoption language and how you can use it in your own home.

Positive Adoption Language is for Everyone

If we encouraged only a select group of people to use positive adoption language, then it's initial purpose would cease to exist. A positive rhetoric in regards to adoption is meant for every individual. Regardless of your involvement with the adoption process, whether that be integral, minimal or non-existent, staying diligent with a compassionate vocabulary can boost the mentality of you and others.

This also goes to mention that birth mothers should definitely have this type of language spoken for themselves. Without it, there is a possibility that a birth mother may find themselves in turmoil whether that be from guilt or the feeling of inadequacy. Whether alone as a birth mother or surrounded by supportive family members, we encourage uplifting and compassionate words to be constantly present. All this narrows down to the ultimate purpose of positive adoption language: to emotionally fortify those who will forever be impacted by the blessings of adoption.

Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Reno has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now!

Contact Us 24/7: 855-940-4673 (Toll-Free) or 775-825-4673 (Reno)