Monday, December 29, 2014

Adoption Language

What are your views on appropriate adoption language?  
(Examples: Birth mom vs. expectant mom, was adopted vs is adopted,)
Have you had any personal experiences with inappropriate adoption language?
How, if at all, did you educate those involved?


I think I'll share a couple experiences first. 
When I placed my little guy for adoption, we used the term PLACED(obviously), and not "gave up". I remember many moments after hearing, "she gave up her baby for adoption."; whether it be in an explanation of my crying, or an introduction to who I was. Those few months after placement, the words "gave up her son", defined me at almost every meeting. 
What it didn't do was make me angry, or frustrated with those sharing my information, or sharing info on others.  MOSTLY, because I had just come into the adoption world, and I, too, had used "gave up" for a LONG TIME.  It was never meant in a demeaning negative way, but since then has become something that I enjoy correcting others on. Not because I am mad, but because opportunities for education are amazing, and fun! And, in most cases, it was a lack of education(or age difference/when raised) that promoted different types of adoption language

SECOND:
When I became involved with OAOH I didn't think there were very specific terms to Birth mother/expectant mother, I never used the "politically correct" terminology, because it never dawned on me that there was such a thing.  So, in my uneducated, naive first post, I said BM.... yup... the big ol NO NO was upon me. I got such a lashing I thought I would get kicked off the page because I'd upset so many people.  I had NO IDEA that it would cause such a ruckus, let alone make anyone mad.  
Remember; in my thoughts through the years, "Education is key. Not everyone understands, because how can they when not everyone has experienced this kind of situation."  SO, luckily I have amazing friends at OAOH to told me not to take it personally, and EDUCATED ME about the correct ways to address titles. Not only was I taught, but I was able to witness complete strangers back me up in the "don't attack her" because of my wording. It was a time to educate everyone on terminology, and in respect.
The Birth Mom, 
B Mom - Birth Mother - First Mom - First Mother
NEVER BM, because we all know what BM stands for. 
I won't repeat it because it makes me laugh and reminds me of my grandpa. It is also something that offends a great deal of birth mothers out there.  Not me personally, BUT, I can totally understand why they would be unappreciative of the term.  So, its simple.... don't use it:)

Expectant Mom,
This was one that was new to me upon joining the adoption community. I didn't ever call myself anything personally, but I was a birth mom... and I was going to be a birth mom.  BUT, an expectant mom is someone who is pregnant, and is in the deciding stage.  Even then, if a choice has been made to place a child for adoption, she is still an expectant mom.  She does not become a birth mom until the papers are signed, and the child is placed in the arms of the perspective adoptive families arms.  Even then, I think there is some time frames in some states where that can be overturned for whatever reasons. 
After the baby arrives, that girl/woman is a MOM. She is not a birth mother until papers are signed, and that baby is placed into the arms of his/her parents or any other party involved in the placement of said child. This, for me, has been a new experience, and I too have found myself still calling those expectant moms 'birth mothers'. This has happened when these women/couples have chosen to place and have an adoption plan in place.  But, I have gotten better, it may have taken a while, and reminding, but it is better.

Adoptive Parent:
Not to be confused with the Hopeful Adoptive Parent.
The obvious, an adoptive parent, has adopted. A HOPEFUL adoptive parent, has either not adopted before and is now in the approved waiting game stage. The hopeful adoptive, could also be those that are in the approval process and haven't had a final go ahead.  ALSO, you could have adopted, and be ready to adopt again, thus, hoping to adopt.
(am I getting this part right???)

One thing I hate about "adoptive parent"...
I DESPISE calling my little mans mom and dad his "adoptive parents", because though they adopted him, THEY ARE HIS MOM AND DAD.  They were always his mom and dad, and they were always meant to be.  It makes me wanna slap myself across the face when I have to say "his adoptive mom and dad".  Because, well, thought they are his adoptive parents.... they ARE his PARENTS.  There is something about that ... and  maybe its my faith, and experience in what has been manifested to me, but he was ALWAYS theirs.  I always say, "his mom and dad", and if I HAVE to explain further so they know who I'm talking about, I'll say the adoptive family....  still irks me, but hey, you can only do so much.

Adoption language has long since changed, and evolved over time. As with most things in life, things are updated, or made inappropriate, or made to be appropriate.  Birth Mother Baskets had started a 'movement' or campaign, "Gave Love, Gave life, But never Gave Up.  PLACED".  Its an educational movement, one that will probably take a whole lotta years to fully envelope the world. BUT, it is teaching, and it was a great start. I can't seem to get angry when someone says "gave up" because it usually is just the lack of education.  When it isn't a lack of education, its an 'age' difference; or a 'grew up in a different era' difference.  It doesn't not make me mad, sometimes its hard to hear it, but never angers me.  I gave up soda... I gave up clothes I didn't fit into anymore. I gave up feeling like a failure... I didn't give up my son. I didn't give up on him either.  I chose to FIGHT for him, and in doing so, that meant giving him a home with 2 parents, and the life i KNEW he deserved, and where he belonged.

I am was an expectant mom... and birth mom... and now an adoption lover.
I can't say it enough... education is KEY in the forward movement of adoption.
 -Jena



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(examples: Birth mom vs. expectant mom, was adopted vs. is adopted, etc.) Have you had any personal experiences with inappropriate adoption language? How, if at all, did you help educate those involved? - See more at: http://www.jkadoptionlove.com/p/adoption-love-link-up.html#sthash.2FhxkYow.dpuf
WhaWhat are your views on appropriate adoption language? (examples: Birth mom vs. expectant mom, was adopted vs. is adopted, etc.) Have you had any personal experiences with inappropriate adoption language? How, if at all, did you help educate those involved? - See more at: http://www.jkadoptionlove.com/p/adoption-love-link-up.html#sthash.2FhxkYow.dpuf
 What are your views on appropriate adoption language? (examples: Birth mom vs. expectant mom, was adopted vs. is adopted, etc.) Have you had any personal experiences with inappropriate adoption language? How, if at all, did you help educate those involved? - See more at: http://www.jkadoptionlove.com/p/adoption-love-link-up.html#sthash.wL355ccI.dpuf
 What are your views on appropriate adoption language? (examples: Birth mom vs. expectant mom, was adopted vs. is adopted, etc.) Have you had any personal experiences with inappropriate adoption language? How, if at all, did you help educate those involved? - See more at: http://www.jkadoptionlove.com/p/adoption-love-link-up.html#sthash.wL355ccI.dpuf
 What are your views on appropriate adoption language? (examples: Birth mom vs. expectant mom, was adopted vs. is adopted, etc.) Have you had any personal experiences with inappropriate adoption language? How, if at all, did you help educate those involved? - See more at: http://www.jkadoptionlove.com/p/adoption-love-link-up.html#sthash.wL355ccI.dpuf

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