Positive Adoption Language

As you speak, so you think, like you act. Acquire a Positive Adoption Language (PAL) in referring to adoption, watch your confidence grow and see your doubts disappear.

We get used to certain phrases in our communication that we often forget that these could carry contempt or insinuation towards the person being referred. Adoption is one such domain where we are highly conditioned by the films, fiction and hearsay in using certain phrases and words. Let us pay attention to those expressions and how we can translate the same into Positive Adoption Language (PAL).

Positive Adoption Language (PAL) is an expression that refers to adoption in a manner that preserves the dignity and respect towards stakeholders in adoption such as the child being adopted, parents in adoption, the birth parents etc, without a judgement to their situation and sans prejudice.

Conditioned Expression

Positive Adoption Language (PAL)

Shiv is an adopted boy. An “adopted boy” sounds like an adjective, qualifying Shiv at all times. Adoption is an event that happened in the past. The correct expression is “Shiv is a boy who was adopted”.
Mira is an older child. No child is too old to adopt. Even if a child is 8, 10 or 12 years old, that does not make her an “older” child. The correct expression is “Mira is eight years old”
Sunny was abandoned by his parents. We need not overemphasize an event that happened in the past. The constructive expression focuses on the solution, rather than the problem.  The correct expression is “Sunny was placed into adoption by his parents.”
Kyra is an illegitimate child. The child has no control over the marital status of her parents. Further, the child is born with the same natural process, as any other child. The correct expression is “Kyra is a child whose parents did not choose to get married, yet decided to give her the gift of life.”
It is difficult to adopt Joseph as he is a special need child. Each child has a whole identity, of which his special need may be just a part of it. It is unfair to label a child through his need alone. The correct expression is “Joseph has different abilities, and we need to assess if we can support him for his needs or not.”
They are an infertile couple and they should adopt a child. Not having a child is neither a pre-requisite nor a limitation in having a child. In fact adoption has nothing to do with your currently having a child or not. Further, any one who does not have a child does not automatically become eligible to adopt a child, as adoption requires proper preparation. The correct expression is “Adoption is another way to build a family and they should evaluate if it is a relevant option for them.”