As you consider adoption and begin Googling all things adoption related, you may come across the frequent use of the phrase “give up for adoption.” While it’s a very commonly used term by birth parents, adoptive parents, adoptees and all people, it is actually not the preferred term for positively and realistically speaking about the adoption process. This is why adoption professionals like Adoption Choices of Kansas advocate for different ways of saying “give baby up for adoption” – to better embody the bravery and selflessness of women who make this choice.
So, why do we and other adoption websites continue to use this phrase?
You have probably seen this phrase throughout our resources for prospective birth mothers. Know this: just because our website uses this term does not mean it is one that our adoption professionals believe in or use lightly. Online, it is a key phrase to help YOU find the resources you need – US! But working with us, you will find greater compassion and lessons in positive adoption language throughout the process.
Here are some phrases that we prefer to use and encourage others to use instead of “giving up for adoption”:
- Place a baby for adoption
- Choose adoption for a baby
- Make (create/establish) an adoption plan
We always prefer to use these one of these other ways to say “give up for adoption,” but we also want you to understand the inclusion of these terms on our website is a bit more complicated. On a great deal of adoption materials online, you will find the phrase “giving up for adoption,” despite its negative connotations. This is for a simple reason. Many people who are not experienced with the world of adoption frequently use “give up for adoption” rather than one of the more adoption-positive terms listed above.
Often, they have heard this phrase used in movies, culture, and/or modern society. This phrase tends to present an unrealistic and outdated version of the adoption process; one that we like to call adoptions from the past. Therefore, if someone is new to the adoption process, they will use this phrase instead of current, better, alternative phrases for “give up for adoption” like we have listed above. In fact, you may have arrived at this website by using the same phrase yourself!
Why is “give up for adoption” bad for the perception of modern adoption?
Adoption is much different than it was even a few decades ago. Expectant mothers are never forced to “give up” their baby; they are in charge of their entire adoption process, including choosing an adoptive family, choosing the level of openness, and determining what kind of post-adoption contact they want with their child. It’s a selfless decision made from love and bravery; not a selfish or lazy one in which you are “giving away” your child without a second thought. Adoption is a choice you make over parenting or abortion.
But, because so many people use this phrase when learning about the adoption process, our educational materials use the common “give up baby” to help them find the information they want. Then, once someone has found our adoption materials, we take the time to explain the reality of the adoption process, why this term is outdated, and other ways to say “give up for adoption” that accurately represent this beautiful journey.
Therefore, if you ever find this phrase on our site, know that it is not one we use lightly or even believe is correct. Instead, we are using the best methods we have to spread awareness about how adoption really works and provide expectant mothers like you the information you need to make the best choice for you!
To read more about Positive Adoption Language, check out our other posts:
More on Positive Adoption Language