Positive Adoption Language
The way we talk—and the words we choose—say a lot about what we think and value. When we use
positive adoption language, we say that adoption is a way to build a family just as birth is. Both are
important, but one is not more important than the other.
Choose the following positive adoption language instead of the negative talk that helps perpetuate the myth that adop-
tion is second best. By using positive adoption language, you’ll reflect the true nature of adoption, free of innuendo.
Words not only convey facts, they also evoke feelings. When a TV movie talks about a "custody battle" between "real
parents" and "other parents," society gets the wrong impression that only birthparents are real parents and that adoptive
parents aren’t real parents. Members of society may also wrongly conclude that all adoptions are "battles."
Positive adoption language can stop the spread of misconceptions such as these. By using positive adoption language, we
educate others about adoption. We choose emotionally "correct" words over emotionally-laden words. We speak and write
in positive adoption language with the hopes of impacting others so that this language will someday become the norm.