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As we continue to advocate for positive adoption language, we thoroughly explored “give up for adoption” here and now continue with a few other phrases you should be aware of.

“Keep” a Baby

You may be deciding between keeping your baby and placing them for adoption. However, using the phrase “keep” implies that your other option is still a negative one of “giving away.” Know this: Choosing to place your child for adoption is in no way a worse decision than “keeping” them, which is why we encourage all people talking about adoption to instead use “parent a baby.”

Deciding between “parenting a baby” and “placing a baby for adoption” is an equitable decision, not one that implies one choice is better than the other.

“Birth Mother”

As you look at information on adoption, you may also come across the phrase “birth mother.” While this isn’t a negative adoption word, we want to clarify, what exactly is a birth mother? A birth mother is a woman who has placed her child for adoption. Only after her adoption is complete should a woman be “officially” called a birth mother – and she can always change her mind about her adoption decision prior to placement.

If you are still considering adoption, you are a “prospective birth mother,” “expectant mother,” or “pregnant woman considering adoption.” However, you always have the right to be called by the title you are most comfortable with – including the easy one – YOUR NAME. As you pursue your adoption process, make sure your professionals understand what you would like to be called – whether it’s “birth mother,” “first mother” or any of the alternatives listed above in order to receive the respect you deserve at this time in your adoption journey.

Remember, adoption is a defining moment in a woman’s life; but your identity is always more than just your role as a birth mother.

“Real” Parent

It is normal to have deep-seated maternal feelings about the child you place for adoption. You may even see yourself as your child’s “real” mother because of your genetic connection. People who are not birth mothers also use this term for the same reasons.

However, neither a birth parent nor an adoptive parent is more “real” than the other. Both play important roles in the adoption process, and an adopted child would not have the same life if it weren’t for the interaction and choice of each of these parents. Every parent in the adoption triad is a “real” parent and plays a different role for the child at the center of the adoption, which is why it is much more helpful and positive to use phrases like “birth parent” and “adoptive parent” when referring to these people.

It’s important that all people, not just those involved in adoption, understand why you should not say “give up for adoption” and use more positive adoption language. If you are considering adoption for your baby, positive phrasing may actually affect your decision to take this path. Contact us at Adoption Choices of Kansas to learn more!

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