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Loving Language of Adoption Services

By Cathy Subscribe to RSS | November 29th 2011 | Views:

Almost everyone has been in a situation where they have been hurt by something another person said. Words can carry a powerful sting, regardless of whether or not they were intended to do so. Insensitive remarks may cause just as much harm as an intentional insult. And, though most people have experienced the pain of a verbal jab, we can sometimes remain quite careless with our own speech.

The language that we use in reference to the adoption process is no exception. People have referred to adoption as the process of “giving up a child” or “putting a baby up for adoption”. These potentially hurtful phrases can indicate that a birth mother is committing some sort of offense by considering the possibility of adoption for her baby, when in fact, adoption is a very loving decision. It is better to say that a woman is “choosing adoption” or “making an adoption plan”. Even saying that an expectant mother is going “to keep her baby” may carry the negative connotation that a child is a possession. She may

choose to parent the child or she may choose adoption.

Another instance of potentially harmful language in reference to adoption is calling a child’s birth mother or birth family their “real” mother or “real” family. This language implies that the family into which the child was adopted into is not real or is somehow lacking in legitimacy as a family because there is no genetic connection. For children who have been adopted, it is possible to have two real families, one through birth and one through adoption. The arrangement of a family may differ from case to case in adoption situations, but, with all of its varied definitions, “family” is most importantly a term of affection.

Even phrasing as subtle as “is adopted” versus “was adopted” can have an impact. Wrongly saying that a child “is adopted”, using the present tense, labels the child with adoption as a present condition that he or she must cope with today. Correctly saying that a child “was adopted”, using the past tense,indicates that a child joined a family through the method of adoption, but is now a full and complete member of the family unit.

Methodist Mission Home is an adoption organization and provider of services and support for birth mothers, birth fathers, adoptive families, and adoptees.They recognize the emotional, spiritual, and physical challenges individuals may face during the adoption process. Methodist Mission Home’s adoption center offers professional guidance and compassionate support for both birth mothers and families considering adoption in order to help everyone reach mutually beneficial decisions throughout the adoption consultancy process. Visit for more information on our adoption programs and other ways we work to give God’s children a faith, a family, and a future.

Cathy - About Author:
Methodist Mission Home is a non-profit child adoption center located in San Antonio, Texas.We offer special counseling for birth mother support, pre-natal support pregnant teen support. We have a well-equipped maternity center for providing birth mother services, financial support, and housing support.

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