Positive Adoption Language

Positive Adoption Language

Talking to Your Child About Open Adoption: Using Positive Language

The use of positive language helps to normalize and reinforce the concept that adoption is simply one way of building a family. When speaking with your child about adoption, it is very important to utilize appropriate words and phrases, which can help provide comfort and encouragement. In speaking with others, it is also very helpful for you to model the use of positive adoption language, in place of some of the “traditional” terminology associated with adoption.

Below are examples of positive words and phrases to utilize when speaking with your child or others about adoption:

Positive Language Traditional Language
Birth parent      Real parent
Biological parent   Natural parent
Birth child  Own child
Parent    Adoptive parent
Our child   Adopted child
Was adopted    Is adopted
Born to unmarried parents    Illegitimate
Placed for adoption    Given up/Given away
Chose adoption Couldn’t keep
An unplanned pregnancy  An unwanted child
Has special needs    Handicapped child

Birthmother Hotline: (877) 890-4673

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