Adoption Language PDF Print E-mail

The following is a list of suggested terms to use when discussing and referring to adoption
Compiled by June Ring, PPL Adoption Consultant

Positive Terms Negative Terms
Making an adoption plan Given away, given up, abandoned
Choosing adoption for a child Surrender, relinquish, release
Placed in adoption Put up for adoption, adopted out, placed for adoption
Unplanned pregnancy Unwanted pregnancy, unwanted/illegitimate child
Birth mother/birth father; biological mother/father Real/actual/natural mother or father
Children through birth/children born to us/biological children Real/own/natural children
Deciding to parent Keeping the child/baby
Meeting between birth parent and adopted adult Reunion
Could not conceive/carry pregnancy Couldn't have children (when referring to infertility)
Person who was adopted Is adopted, adoptee, adoptive child
Parental rights, responsibilities and relationship Parental rights


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