Sunday, August 02, 2015

If you love my family....

I posted this on Facebook a long time ago and realized that it should be on my blog too.

I have a request for anyone that cares about my family or our birthmothers. Please stop using the terms “keep” and “give up” when referring to adoption. These are terms commonly used in reference to purging one's house of garbage and other objects. You have to decide what to keep and what to give up or throw away. These terms should never be used in reference to a child or the thought process behind a birth mother’s decision.

There are a tiny number of exceptions to this but overwhelmingly, an adoption begins when a birth mother (sometimes a birth father) carefully ponders what will be the best future for her unborn child. If she concludes that parenting the child herself isn’t the best option, she may choose to place her child with adoptive parents. She pours over adoptive parent profiles, she may pray, talk to her family and friends, and after much thought and consideration, she chooses a family to place her unborn child with.

Please don’t dismiss these word choices as simple semantics. “Keep” and “give up” are so charged with negative ideas. They reduce a child to something akin to garbage and a birthmother to someone who treated a child like garbage. I know it doesn’t roll off the tongue and will take some effort but please try to use the words “parent” or “place” when referring to what a birth mother decided to do.

I am eternally grateful to my children’s birth mothers for carefully considering what the children they carried would need and deciding to place them with my family. Birth mothers are my heroes.

I have never heard someone use “keep” and “give up” with the intention to hurt or offend. I do not get offended by people who use those words. So rest assured, I am not angry or hurt by any of my friends or acquaintances. I am worried about how my children or their birth mothers will feel when they hear people use those words. Thank you to all of you who already understand and use the words “parent” and “place”. There are many of you.

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