Post-Placement Complete!… and Positive Adoption Language

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This last Thursday was our final post-placement visit by our social worker. The post-placement supervision is a 6-month long process. Our supervision started when Harper was around 2 months old. We now have to wait a couple more months for our finalization court date of October 16th. One interesting fact we learned recently is that not only do we have an attorney, which we hired months ago, but Harper has a state appointed attorney to represent him at our hearing. We feel no doubt that Harper is our son, but it brought home the reality of our situation of adoption at this last post-placement visit during our discussion of the upcoming finalization hearing. At this hearing, Harper will receive a birth certificate with the name we have given him listed, as well as, Jason and I listed as his parents. This will be such an amazing finale’ to this part of our adoption journey. We are ready to move forward to the next phase!

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I have been wanting to post this for a while now, as I find it extremely important. I would not have known the “positive adoption language” prior to going through the adoption process. I do, however, feel it is something we should all be aware of in order to be sensitive and intelligent regarding how we address families formed by adoption. As I have read and completely agree with, “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 adoption is a way to build a family just as birth is. Both are important, but one is not more important than the other.”

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Positive Adoption Language vs Negative Adoption Language:

Birthparent vs Real parent or Mother /Father

Biological parent vs Natural parent

Parent vs Adoptive parent

My child vs My adopted child

Child from abroad vs Foreign child

Was adopted vs Is adopted

Make an adoption plan or choose adoption vs Give up, give away surrender, relinquish, or place the child

To parent vs To keep

Making contact with vs Reunion

Terminate parental rights vs Give up

Court termination vs Child taken away

The adoption vs The placement

Search or locate vs Track down parents

It is necessary to use appropriate language and to gently correct those who do not. You will begin to notice that others will begin to use and copy the terms that you use. By using the above positive adoption language, we educate others about adoption.

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