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Give Up My Baby for Adoption vs. Place My Baby for Adoption: A Lesson in Using Positive Adoption Language

Give Up My Baby for Adoption vs. Place My Baby for Adoption: A Lesson in Using Positive Adoption Language

The world of adoption extends to many people and has touched many lives. As adoption has become more normalized in the United States, it’s also becoming more common for people to know a birth mother who has placed her child for adoption or a couple who has adopted their child. When talking about adoption -- whether you’re a birth mother, adoptive parent, adoptee or someone else -- thinking before speaking is very important. Many birth mothers today are still confronted with stereotypes and surrounded by a negative stigma created by our society. 

Combatting the stereotypes and negative stigmas that surround birth mothers starts with one very important thing: education! Everyone should do their part to learn more about adoption. Since there’s so much to learn about adoption, it can be difficult to figure out where to begin. To help you out, why not take a lesson in how to use positive adoption language?

“Give Up My Baby for Adoption” vs. “Place My Baby for Adoption”

“Give up my baby for adoption” is one of the most common phrases you’ll hear in conversations about adoption. The problem with this phrase, however, is that it’s simply not true.  When a birth mother chooses adoption, she is not “giving up” her child.

A Brief History on “Give Up My Baby for Adoption”

  • The phrase “give up my baby for adoption” has been long-used in the adoption world for women who became unexpectedly pregnant. It used to be that birth mothers had no control over the adoption process, and their babies were given to adoptive families -- and that was that. 

  • The birth mother didn’t ever get to learn anything afterwards, leading to the later misconceptions of guilt, shame and secrecy.

The Emergence of “Place My Baby for Adoption”

If you are a new birth mother to the adoption industry, “give up my baby for adoption” may be the first phrase you type into your search bar on your computer. That’s ok. Yet, we want you to understand that this is not how our adoption agency sees you. We know that you are not “giving up.” Adoption is not a negative thing, and you are making a selfless and loving choice for your child.

The phrase “place my baby for adoption” emerged as society began to learn more about adoption, and became more accepting of it. With the newfound acceptance of adoption,  adoption agencies throughout the United States -- including Adoption Choices of Florida -- have created adoption glossaries and guides aimed at teaching birth mothers, adoptive parents and everyone else about adoption how to use positive adoption language.

Our local adoption center in Florida strongly encourages the use of the phrase “place my baby for adoption,” as it shines a more truthful, positive light on a birth mother’s decision to, well, place her child for adoption! 

Why “Place My Baby for Adoption” is Considered Positive Language

“Place my baby for adoption” is considered a better phrase than “give up my baby for adoption” for a few reasons. Number one, and as aforementioned, a birth mother does not simply “give up” her child. It’s an extremely difficult, painful decision for a birth mother to place her child for adoption, however, she must put her own desires aside in order to consider and do whatever’s in the best interest of her child. A birth mother must consider that she may not be able to give her child the life and future that they deserve, and that more than likely there’s another loving family out there who can. 

A second reason is that “give up my baby for adoption” implies a certain laziness on the birth mother’s part, which is also untrue. Most birth mothers play a very active role in their child’s adoption process because they want to ensure that their child is going to be loved, cared for, and supported by a wonderful adoptive family. The birth mother’s role in the adoption process is perhaps the most important role of all. She is in control of creating her child’s adoption plan and handpicking her child’s adoptive family. As the birth mother, she also gets to determine which type of adoption she wants and what she feels will be in the best interest of her child. Choosing the type of adoption is a crucial part of the adoption process because each type of adoption allows for different levels of communication between the birth mother, her child, and her child’s adoptive family. It’s completely up to the birth mother whether or not she wants to communicate with her child and her child’s adoptive family, and be a part of their lives.

Why We Still See the Phrase “Give Up My Baby for Adoption”

It’s important to note that the phrase “give up my baby for adoption” is still frequently used in the world of adoption. It seems that no matter how hard adoption agencies and other adoption experts have tried to replace it, the phrase remains. It’s very common to see adoption agencies still using “give up my baby for adoption” on their websites and in their articles and blogs because, again, it’s one of the most commonly searched phrases. Yet, it’s extremely important for you to know that you’re not alone in what you’re going through, and that you are in full control of your choice. As important as it is for everyone to use proper adoption language, it’s even more crucial that you know you are selfless, brave and loving - and that we understand how difficult your decision is, but also that you want your child to have a better, brighter future.

You Play an Important Role in Promoting Positive Adoption Language!

That said, birth mothers, adoptive parents, and anyone else who finds themselves in a conversation about adoption is still strongly encouraged to say “place my baby for adoption,” “place her baby for adoption,” or some other variation of the phrase that implies the true effort that birth mothers put into all decisions related to their child’s adoption process. Contrary to the belief of others, placing a child for adoption is a very selfless act on the birth mother’s part. The strength and courage it takes to realize she’s not be able to be the parent her child needs -- no matter how much she may love her child -- are all things to be recognized in a positive light, and should not be turned into something to be ashamed of.

For more information on positive adoption language, please visit Adoption Choices of Florida’s guide on using proper adoption language.    

If you are a birth parent considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: 800-985-8108