Language is an important part of our lives as human beings. It is the way we communicate our thoughts, feelings and ideas. Words, and the way we use them, can be hurtful if we are not careful about them and the way we use them. Words have the power to build or tear down people and their ideas and actions. Lives can be blessed or broken by the words we say.  This is never truer than when we are speaking about adoption.

In the past, adoption was much more secretive than it is today. Being adopted or being a birth mother in the past was often looked down upon instead of being honored as it should be. Hurtful terms and phrases demeaned and hurt adoptees and birth mothers alike. One of the things that has helped to move the beauty of adoption into the light is changing the way adoption is spoken about. Adoption language has become more positive over the years much to the relief of those whose lives have been touched by adoption. As people have become more familiar with the adoption process it is being recognized for the selfless act it is and the loving tenderness with which it is carried out. No longer do birth mothers and adopted children have to be ashamed of their beautiful life story. As with any area of our lives sometimes hurting another is blatant and sometimes it is done in ignorance and not in a malicious way.

As adoptees, birth mothers and adoptive mothers at A Guardian Angel Adoptions we feel strongly about honoring the act of adoption and the love that is at the route of each adoption plan. As advocates for each member of the adoption triad, we have compiled a list of more positive words we can use when speaking of adoption. We hope this list will be helpful, reduce ignorance and bring to light even more the positive language we can use when speaking of adoption.

Positive Adoption Language

Terms to AvoidPreferred Terminology
Real Parents Natural ParentsPre-Placement-Expectant Parents Post-Placement-Birth Parents Biological Parents Parents Mother/Father
Real Children Natural Children Children of Your OwnBiological Children
Give Up for Adoption Put Up for Adoption Adopt Out Give AwayPlaced for Adoption Made an Adoption Plan
Available ChildrenChildren Awaiting Adoption
Foreign AdoptionInternational Adoption
Hard to Place ChildrenWaiting Children
MixedBiracial
Biracial FamilyTransracial Family
HandicappedDisabled
This child is adopted.This child was adopted.
Adopted ChildMy Child My Son My Daughter
Selling a babyAdoption Assistance
Buying a babyAdoption Related Expenses. Birth Mother Living Expenses

As we all work together to support and love expectant mothers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and choosing adoption for their baby, it is important to remember that words can break or heal. All deserve our love and respect for the brave paths they have walked.

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, please know that you are not alone. Adoption is a viable option for you if you are choosing life for your baby but feel unable to parent at this time. At A Guardian Angel Adoptions, we have adoption assistance and a caring staff to support you throughout your adoption journey.