Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-201-6643 | Email

Important Adoption Terminology for You to Know: Adoption Glossary for Birth Mothers

You’ve recently discovered you are pregnant. This wasn’t planned and has caught you completely off guard. In a matter of seconds, your world has flipped upside down. Emotions surge and your mind whirls with questions and concerns. You turn to Google: “Help! I’m pregnant. Don’t want my baby. What do I do?” Thousands of search results line up, revealing terms about placing your baby for adoption and providing information to agencies. So many words. New terms. What do they all mean? How are you supposed to understand where to begin? You feel that you are no better off than a few moments earlier. Stress and anxiety overwhelm you.

We’ve got you covered! Take a deep breath. Here at Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we promise to make sure you completely understand all of your options for your unexpected pregnancy — including adoption. To help ease your stress, here are some of the most commonly used terms you need to know when starting your adoption journey.

Glossary of Adoption Terms

  • Adoption – Adoption is when you, as a birth mother, willingly terminate your parental rights and place your child in the care of another individual or family, also known as the adoptive family.
  • Adoption Attorney – An adoption attorney specializes in the legal matters surrounding adoption. He or she will assist you and your child’s adoptive family with any legal paperwork and help finalize the adoption.
  • Adoptive Parent/Family  – An adoptive family you choose to raise your child. After you terminate your parental rights, your baby will be cared for by his or her adoptive family.
  • Adoption Match – An adoption match is when you and/or your child’s birth father — the birth parents — are paired with a possible adoptive family. After this happens, you have a right to review their information and decide if they are the best fit for your baby.
  • Adoption Plan – As a birth mother, you will work with your adoption caseworker to create an outline of your desires for the adoption. This includes what type of adoptive family you want for your child, and whether you want an open, semi-open or closed adoption.
  • Adoption Process – These are the steps taken to finalize an adoption. Some commonly mentioned steps include: adoption match, relinquishing parental rights and finalization.
  • Type of Adoption – When you place your baby for adoption, there are three different types of adoption that you can choose from — open, semi-open or closed. Your adoption caseworker can discuss the pros and cons of each option with you. 
  • Adoption Triad – The adoption triad refers to the combination of individuals involved in the adoption process. These individuals include: the birth parents, adoptive parents and the adoptee.
  • Birth Father – The birth father is the biological father of your baby. 
  • Birth Mother – You, the biological mother of your child.
  • Birth Parent Counselor – Also known as an adoption caseworker, a Birth Parent Counselor is the individual who will support you throughout the adoption process. They will help you create an adoption plan, provide adoptive parent profiles of prospective adoption matches, and facilitate any meetings with the couple or individual you choose to be your child’s adoptive family.
  • Hospital “Birth” Plan – A hospital plan, also known as a birth plan, covers what will happen when your baby is born. It includes your birthing preferences and the involvement of the adoptive family at the hospital.
  • Relinquish(ment) – Another word for “terminate,” relinquishment is when you sign away your parental rights and allow your child to be legally adopted by their adoptive family.

Adoption Glossary for Birth Mothers

We hope this adoption glossary for birth mothers has helped you understand adoption a little better. We encourage you to visit us at Adoption Choices of Oklahoma for a personalized meeting with one of our qualified staff members to answer any further questions you may have. Choosing adoption is a big decision, but we have faith that you will make the right choice.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process.  If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.
Toll-free: 800-898-6028 | OKC Local: 405-755-1999 | Tulsa Local: 918-447-7777 | Text: 405-310-8790 | Email

Meet the Author: Grace Myers is a sophomore Digital Media major at North Greenville University As a firm believer that every individual has a story to tell, and a right to be properly represented, she loves meeting new people and learning their stories.

When she’s not writing, you can find her listening to music or cuddling with her dog, Sundae.

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