Words are powerful. They’re loaded with meaning. How something is said denotes how the person saying it feels and what they think. Words can lift someone up, but they can also tear them down. The nuances of language can undermine. Hurt.
Proper adoption language stops misconceptions about adoption. The correct words convey the correct facts. Make this language yours. This language reinforces the relationships within your family. By doing so, you model it for your child and those outside of your family as well.
Introduce the positive language into your child’s school. Educate others. If you don’t know no one else will. Here are some to start and you can add your own as you see fit:
- Parent, mom, dad, sister, brother, etc. for describing adoptive family members
- Birth parents, birth father, birth mother for describing the man and woman who conceived and gave birth to your child
- Was adopted instead of is adopted
- My child instead of adopted child or own child
- Placed for adoption or made an adoption plan instead of orphaned, given up, unwanted, or abandoned
Parents: Has there been a time where you needed to replace a descriptive term someone was using with proper adoption language? How did you feel and what was the response of the other person?