EmptyArms.org
Adoption Language
 
About Us
Voices
Our Trauma
Things that Hurt
Adoption Language
Become a Member

If you are newly reunited here are some simple terms that you might find useful. They are used every day on the internet. The language of adoption is changing quickly as the politics heats up between pro and anti-adoption movements in this country. Words have power and some labels are more hurtful than others. As we were once considered "unwed mothers" society has embraced the "single mother" today, reflecting the fact that it's now acceptable to raise your own child without a marriage contract.

Abro
adoptive brother-sibling in the adoptive family. Can mean natural child of the adoptive family.


Adad
adoptive father


Adopted person
what adoptees like to be called


Adoptees
children who are adopted


Adopters
a couple who adopted a child


Adoption plan
modern phrase - refers to a pregnant woman who plans to either have an open adoption or closed. The mother has control over where the child will be placed


Amom
adoptive mother


Apars
adoptive parents


As if
what women were told to do after they signed their surrender papers: to go on with life "as if" nothing happened


Asis
adoptive sister-sibling in the adoptive family. Can also mean a natural child of the parents


Bdad
birthfather


Birthfather
a term given to natural fathers by the adoption industry


Birthmother
a term given to natural mothers by the adoption industry. It is sometimes wrongly used to describe an expectant mother who is considering adoption. All expectant mothers should be called mother until they decide what is best for themselves and their own child.


Birthmother Day
the day before Mother's day, created in Seattle, Washington by a group of natural mothers in 1990


Child/ren
a respectful way of including women who had to surrender twins or women who surrendered two children


Closed adoption
an adoption wherein all records are sealed and therefore, the adopted person has no information concerning his/her birth or origins


DOB
Date of Birth


Exiled mother
A natural mother who has lost a child to adoption and become an activist in the anti-adoption movement


Facilitator
an attorney or agency or any other organization that arranges adoptions


Firstmother
an alternative name for a woman who surrendered her child/ren to adoption


Foster parents
temporary home for children until permanent placement can be found


F2F
Face-to-face meeting usually between a mother and her newly found adult child/ren


GSA
Genetic sexual attraction. Mutual attraction after reunion


Honeymoon
the first stage of reunion, often the first year when the reunited parent and child look at each other through rose colored glasses. Much like the early stages of a romance.


KAD
Korean adoptions


Natural mother
a respectful term for women who lost her child/ren to adoption


Non ID
non Identifying information given to adoptees and mothers by homes and agencies that handled the adoption


OBC
Original Birth Certificate, rarely ever seen or obtained


Open adoption
an arrangement wherein the natural mother knows the adopters of her child/ren and is allowed some kind of contact. Not enforceable by law


Open records
natural mothers and adopted persons, seek open records which contain personal information so that they can find each other. Currently only a few states have open records for adult adoptees


PAP's
Potential Adoptive Parents


PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome. Usually referred to what natural mothers suffer, not unlike Vietnam Vets


Pullback
when one party in a reunion ceases to communicate or cuts back communication sharply


Regression
the age regression experienced by the natural mother during the initial stages of reunion to the age she was when she relinquished. Also can be experienced by the adoptee as he/she regresses to younger ages. Common for both


Relinquish
another word for surrendering a child


Roller coaster
the ups and downs of reunion and the intense feelings it causes


Search Angel
someone who has helped reunite families


Searcher
a friend who helps an adopted person or natural mother find each other


Searching mom
a natural mother searching for her relinquished child/ren


Surrender
refers to the official papers signed giving up parental rights. Many natural mothers use this term because they were coerced and had to surrender


SW's, SWer's
Social Workers


Triad
the three parts of the adoption triangle: adoptive parents, adopted person, and natural mother and/or father...anti-adoption activists do not recognize the "triad" and refer only to the Dyad of the natural mother and child


 

If there are other terms you think we should include on this list, please contact us on our Become a Member page.

 

 

 

Related Links © 2003 EmptyArms.org
All rights reserved.