The use of positive adoption language is paramount for adopted children, their families and friends. By using positive language to describe the adoption process, an adoptee will be less likely to associate negative feelings with his or her situation. The sensitivity of a child will obviously depend on if the child was a foster child, international adoptee or adopted as an infant. But, overall, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Being worried about whether a term is positive or negative may cause some people to leave things unsaid completely. This is even worse than using a potentially offensive term. Very little in adoption may be easy to discuss, therefore it's better to at least speak poorly than not but to try to do so positively when possible. An example of a less sensitive adoption topic may be the fees associated with adopting a child. This may sometimes be called the "adoption costs" and runs the risk of making the child feel or sound like a commodity purchased for a number. Though not all children will associate their personal worth to the adoption fees, trying to leave commercial terms out of adoption conversations is a smart choice and an easy one to change.
Perhaps the most sensitive language for a child will be about his or her birth parents. Adoptive parents should avoid terms like "real parent" and correct their children and friends when they use this. Words like "unwanted pregnancy" can also be hurtful and should be treated with care out of respect for the child.
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