Sometimes the terminology society uses has underlying innuendos and meanings that are negative and possibly harmful. Many common terms used when talking about adoption are those type of negative terms. Here are some of those terms and alternatives to use to break down stereotypes and negative connotations about adoption.
(sorry about the formatting.)
Negative term................................................Say this instead
Gave up (or put up) for adoption Placed for adoption
or made an adoption plan
Real or natural parent Biological or birth parent
Adoptive parent Parent
Adopted child Child
Is adopted Was adopted
Keep baby Parent baby
Own or real child Biological child
Track down Make contact with
Unwanted child Child placed for adoption
Illegetimate child Born to
Those are just a few. I wasn't aware of these things until our first adoption class in Boise and I still slip up a lot. This language totally makes sense. The "negative" term I am most sensitive about is "gave up for adoption." After talking to several birth mothers, not one of them thinks they "gave their baby away". What they did was very courageous and loving. It's an easy flub because that is how society has always phrased it. I always said it too! But it really drives me crazy when people who should know better say it. Like there is this show on We TV called "The Locator" where an expert named Troy Dunn helps adopted children find their birth parents and vice versa. This guy is also an LDS bishop, by the way. Anyway, it drives me nuts that on the show they use the terms "gave your baby away" or "gave your baby up". As a modern show that is meant to be a feel-good program, it's just backwards for them to use that terminology.
Okay, that's my soap box.
Sorry for the lack of posts. We've been partying in Cody, Wyoming, with family for Thanksgiving and I've found myself playing Scattegories late into the night rather than blogging. :)