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Why Do We Say “Give Up Baby” For Adoption? 

By Noah Abrams

If you are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering putting a child up for adoption, you are courageous! There are negative stigmas surrounding the phrase “give up baby” when referring to adoption. Birth mothers may feel guilt, questioning their ability to parent and love the child. This same feeling may come from outsiders as well, making this tougher on the birth mother.

At Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we understand that placing your baby with an adoptive family can be difficult. Because of this, we have counselors available 24/7 to provide support. We will explain the adoption process, discuss your options, and help you create an adoption plan. Contrary to your feelings or those opinions, you are not “giving up on” your baby or “giving up” your baby. This is a selfless act, done with careful reflection and out of love for the child. It doesn’t negate your love but only confirms it.

“Giving Up” and its Negative Stigmas Related to Adoption

The phrase “giving up” when referring to adoption has had a negative stigma surrounding it for years. It has negative implications, such as abandoning or rejecting the child. This can be very hurtful to both the birth mother and adoptee. For the parent, it makes her feel like she failed her child, not being the one to raise them. For the child, it makes them feel neglected and unloved, which is not the case.

Adoption has had negative stigmas surrounding it as a result of the views and biases of society. Being biologically connected and having blood ties was heavily promoted in the past. Because of this, adoptive families weren’t really accepted. Though true, efforts to change the narrative have been made. This has allowed for conversation and the benefits of adoption and adoptive families to be promoted more. 

It is important to be respectful whenever using language relating to adoption and the parties involved. Instead of using “give up”, use “make an adoption plan”, “placing a child”, or “choosing life through adoption”. Instead of saying “real parents”, say “birth parents” or “biological parents”. Positive Adoption Language is important, as it encourages support for those involved in the adoption process.

Cultural or Regional Nuances Surrounding Adoption Language

Familiarizing yourself with Positive Adoption Language is very important for those in the adoption triad. Most of the phrases used when referring to adoption have a negative connotation attached to them. Because of this, those involved in the adoption process feel negatively about themselves. The birth parent feels guilty, the adoptive family doesn’t feel right for adopting, and the child feels ashamed. 

The language used when referring to adoption can be a sensitive topic and differs across cultures. Some cultures or regions may favor the “birth parent” over the “biological parent”. In specific cultures, there may be certain words or phrases used to indicate respect for those in the adoption process. Understand and use Positive Adoption Language to show respect for the varying cultural views regarding the language used.

Shifting the Mindset Surrounding Adoption

You may feel uneasy regarding the idea of giving your baby up for adoption. For years, there have been negative feelings and stigmas surrounding adoption. It has been paired next to giving up and not loving your baby. This view is not true and you should not feel discouraged if you are considering adoption for your baby. This is a courageous and thoughtful thing to do as a parent. As difficult a decision it is, it shows how selfless you are and the amount of love you have for your child. All a parent can hope for is the best upbringing possible for their child. That is what you would accomplish by placing your baby with an adoptive family. 

You’re Not “Giving Up”, but Choosing Life Through Adoption!

If you have a child, adoption doesn’t make you any less of a good parent. It doesn’t mean you’re rejecting or giving up on your child. Placing a child is one of the most selfless, courageous things a birth mother could do. Positive Adoption Language plays an important part in reinforcing this. It is important to be selective with the language we use when referring to adoption and those involved in the process. It may seem small, but it helps to get rid of negative stigmas surrounding adoption.

Have you been looking for Oklahoma City adoption agencies or Tulsa adoption agencies? We can help any birth mothers experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. At Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we provide you with all of the information, resources, and support you need to help you through the adoption process. For birth parents who need assistance and families considering child adoption, visit our website!

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