If you look up the definition of the word adopt in the dictionary, it will give you four different meanings that vary greatly from one another. To adopt in terms of child adoption fits the Merriam-Webster dictionary definition that states, “to take by choice into a relationship, especially: to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one’s own child.” While this definition is factual, it fails to convey the true spirit and enormity of what it actually means to adopt.
In this case, we may have to use a different word to explain what adopt means in our own life. Narrowing down the perfect adopt synonym can prove difficult as there are many from which to choose. Many of these synonyms speak to the heart of adoption and the characteristics that one will encounter on the journey. These synonyms hold their own meanings, but beautifully tell a larger story, expanding on the meaning of “adopt.” Here are some adopt synonyms and what they might mean for adoption in better conveying it in its entirety.
Accept is an incredibly important adopt synonym as it encompasses not only acceptance of an adopted child into one’s family, but also the acceptance that things do not always go as planned in an adoption journey. We often have to accept that the process does not always move as quickly as we want it to. We may also have to accept the fact as an adoptive parent that a birth mother may change her mind about placement, resulting in a failed match. When we accept a child into our home, it means that we are accepting them through the good and the bad just as we would a child who was born into our family.
Accept is also a relevant adopt synonym in reference to the factors that birth parents will have to accept. When making the choice to place their child, they have to accept that they are placing the child’s entire future in someone else’s hands. They also have to accept the loss that comes with adoption and the unknowns of the future. Much of the adoption process that occurs after a child is placed is out of the hands of the child’s birth parents. Adoption for a birth parent means accepting that loss of control and, essentially, the loss of their child.
Coming alongside the adopt synonym “accept” is the adopt synonym “embrace.” Embrace is much like accept in the sense that it is about opening your arms to a child no matter how hard life can get. The word embrace is so important to define adoption as it conveys the truth that there will be many times when we have to lay our pride and expectations down to take circumstances as they come. We will have to embrace the adoption journey and the hardships that might come with it. We should also do our best as adoptive parents to embrace the birth family of a child whom we have embraced, as they are forever a part of that child. As a birth parent, embracing the opportunity for openness and the unknowns that come with placement will indeed be trying at times, but it is worth it when done right and honored.
Maintain is also an adopt synonym that highlights the adoption relationships you will need to maintain. As an adoptive parent, this will initially be about maintaining a communicative relationship with your adoption agency or attorney. It is vital to stay up to date, do what is asked of you, and also hold the agency or attorney accountable to the work they need to do on their end. This is also true for birth parents who need to let the agency know of any important information but also need to make sure they as a birth parent feel informed and represented.
After placement occurs, the adopt synonym maintain will continue to be reflective of adoptive relationships, but now concerning the entire adoption triad. The first relationship to maintain, of course, is that of an adoptive parent with the child whom they have adopted. This will not only be physical maintenance of food, shelter, and clothing, but also the relational maintenance of love and devotion. In open adoption situations, maintaining healthy relationships with birth parents is also a part of the greater heart of adoption. After placement is when the real work begins and the harder work of maintaining lasting relationships will truly matter.
SupportThe final adopt synonym that conveys the family aspect of the word adopt is “support.” From the beginning to the end of your journey, your adoption success will hinge on the support around you, whether that be the adoption professionals you hire or the financial support you seek out. Their support will mean everything to get you to the finish line of finalization. As an adoptive parent, once your child has been placed with you, the support of family and friends will mean everything in raising your child. There is a reason the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child” is so popular! You will also see the essence of “support” when it comes to building a relationship with your child’s birth family and also with your child. If you are a birth parent, support will be crucial to get you through the adoptive process. Whether the support is financially or emotionally, this support is core to the adoptive process and to the journey that will continue well after finalization.