“There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you. Another sentence exists, another series of words, that could heal you. If you’re lucky, you will get the second, but you can be certain of getting the first.”
― Philip K. Dick, VALIS
A Act of Love Adoptions believes that Philip Dick is correct, and our society has maintained a destructing rhetoric around adoption. Positive adoption language aims to correct the demoralizing views that so many people carry about adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive families.
We aim to use language that uplifts everyone we work with because we don’t believe that there is anyone without feeling in the adoption world. One way we can correct this is by considering the potential damage that comes with the everyday words we’ve accepted in explaining adoption.
For example, one of the most commonly used phrases around adoption is “He was given up for adoption.” The phrase “given up” can be used in various sentences, like “She is giving her daughter up for adoption.”
Even when the intention is to show courteous empathy, using the words “give up” regarding adoption does damage (at least) two-fold. First, it deflates the love of a birth parent who chose to make an adoption plan for their child. Birth parents not only love their children they also break their hearts to prove that love by accepting that they aren’t able to provide for them.
Using the phrase “give up” can imply that the adoptee was abandoned without love or that they weren’t worth fighting for. The reality is, birth parents would do anything to raise their child if they were under the right circumstances. If we allow adoptees to feel worthless to their biological parents, they are more likely to experience abandonment and trust issues throughout their life.
While the intention can be as innocent as not having the right words to replace this with, but the damage is all the same. That is why we have a list of a few phrases you can consider shifting into your conversations about adoption and encourage others to learn the benefits of positive language.
Expectant parents who want more information should visit this page.
Adoptive parents who want more information should visit this page.
If you’re considering placing your child for adoption, click here to contact us now.