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When Giving Up for Adoption Should Be Given Up

Times change and so does appropriate language and phrases

In the adoption world, we have been advocating ending the term ‘giving up your child for adoption’ when we are talking about the selfless and brave act of a birth parent creating an adoption plan. The last thing someone does is give up on their child when they make the decision to place them with another family who will love and raise them. Hopeful Beginnings has seen first-hand how this negative phrase impacts the birth parents that we work with. The judgment felt by women and couples who open up about considering placing their child for adoption is strong. For these women and couples to then be met with ‘how could you give your baby up’ does very little in the way of supporting or empowering people to consider such a selfless act.

The adoption community and those going through various aspects of adoption like families hoping to adopt or those who are raising children brought to their family through adoption, are cognizant of the harmful connotations that come this phrase. We now need to get the general population to understand the impacts of words and to begin to change. At Hopeful Beginnings,we believe education and having open and honest conversations with people in your life can help tremendously. I would argue that most people believe adoption is a positive thing and we need to make sure that our language reflects that. Women and men who voluntarily consider placing their child for adoption with a loving family are owed a great deal of respect and admiration. By simply changing the language we use and replacing ‘giving up a child for adoption’ with ‘placing a child for adoption’, it can help break down the stigma for those considering such a brave and selfless act. Support birth moms and adoptees by changing your language when speaking about adoption.

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