12 January 2022

Positive adoption language

The words we use when we talk about adoption are so important. The most important audience listening to what we say are our children. Adopted children should always hear positive adoption language, particularly from their parents.

It’s a commonly used phrase: ‘putting a child up for adoption’. But it’s a carryover from a bygone era, when children were transported across the country on orphan trains and ‘put up for adoption’ on station platforms, with many of them eventually becoming farm hands. Instead, use phrases like ‘making an adoption plan for baby’ or ‘planning adoption’.

We should also be intentional about how we refer to a birth parent’s situation. Using a term like ‘illegitimate’ is judgmental. So is telling an expectant parent what she ‘should’ do, given her situation. An expectant parent has three unplanned pregnancy options. She should not experience even a slight undertone of judgment as she considers what’s right for her. Whatever her situation, she has unplanned pregnancy options.

Adoptive parents and birth parents in Michigan are best served when working with a licensed Michigan adoption agency. Be cautious in considering an ‘adoption consultant’ who is likely not familiar with adoption in Michigan, is not a licensed Michigan agency, and does not offer the support of credentialed adoption professionals for clients. 

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