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Positive Adoption Language

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Choosing to use positive adoption language will help end the myth that adoption is second best. By using positive adoption language, you’ll reflect the true nature of adoption, free of stereotypes.

Below are some examples of positive and negative adoption language.

Positive Adoption Language
Negative Adoption Language
Birth parent Real parents
Birth child Own child
My child Adopted child; own child
Make an adoption plan Give up your child
To parent To keep
Child placed for adoption An Unwanted Child
Court Terminated Child Taken Away
Child with Special Needs Handicapped Child

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P. is a Certified Open Adoption Practitioner, an award winning author of 2 adoption books and Adoption: Your Step-by-Step Guide.  Mardie is also the talk show host of Let's Talk with Mardie Caldwell and the founder of Lifetime Adoption in 1986. She travels and speaks nationwide on adoption topics, family topics, infertility and writing. She has been quoted in and consulted for Parenting and Adoption magazines and has appeared on CNN, CBS, ABC, BBC, NBC, and Fox. Featured in Parade Magazine, Caldwell is an adoptive mother living in Northern California.


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