Adoption can be a sensitive and personal process. It is important to use positive adoption language, or PAL, that shows respect to the birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptive children. PAL is not used just to be politically correct but to protect the emotions of everyone involved. All parties’ feelings are important and one is not better than the other. For example, here is a blog I found where a biological mother shares her experience with PAL. CLICK HERE.
These are the phrases that stuck out the most to me…
GIVING UP/GIVING AWAY FOR ADOPTION VS. PLACING FOR ADOPTION
Usually when we give things up they are bad for us. Like… giving up junk food or soda. Negative terms such like giving up or giving away sends the message that there was not much thought in it or there was something wrong with the child.
ADOPTED CHILD VS. MY CHILD
This example also goes along with adoptive parents, adoptive mother, adopted children, etc. These terms imply that because they are not blood-related, the relationships in an adoptive family are not as strong or lasting as relationships by birth. Just drop the extra adjectives for a positive meaning.
IS ADOPTED VS. WAS ADOPTED
Although adoption is a lifelong journey, it is important to live in the present. Letting phrases like “I am adopted” can seem like self-identification. Think of it like being born. You “were born,” not “I am born.” Small details make huge impacts when dealing with adoption.
It is important to be considerate of your language and make sure it is positive. Everyone benefits from PAL so please share and educate others.