Positive Adoption Language

Adoption language evolves over the years and as we grow more sensitive and connected to the people in the adoption triad, we see a real need to change the language to fit and be more respectful to those involved. How can positive adoption language make a difference?

Positive Adoption Language

The language we use when talking about adoption can have a lasting impact on families who have had adoption touch their lives. Using positive adoption language can promote a healthy conversation and avoid offending anyone. See below for a list of negative adoption language, and then suggestions on converting each to positive adoption language.

While positive adoption language is a good baseline, it may not work in every situation. For example, some birth mothers prefer to be called first/natural mothers. Be flexible in using the terminology that the people you are talking to are most comfortable with.

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Sarah - Content Specialist for adopting.org, is a mother both biologically and through domestic infant open adoption. She resides with her husband and two boys in Ohio. She is passionate about open adoption and adoption education. In her free time she enjoys cooking, photography, writing, and hiking. You can find more of her adoption work at Heart For Open Adoption on Facebook or on Adoption.com.

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