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Positive adoption language

New-Mother-And-Newborn-249333The words we use while talking about adoption can be harmful. By using positive adoption language, we educate others about adoption. When writing about or discussing adoption, please consider using language from the right-hand column.

Negative Language Positive Language
Giving up a child for adoption Placing a child for adoption
Real parent; natural parent Birth parent, biological parent
Adoptive parent Parent
My adopted child My child
Illegitimate Born to unmarried parents
Adoptee Person who was adopted
Handicapped/disabled child Child with special needs
To keep the child To parent a child
Relinquished a child Placed a child for adoption

 

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