Sunday, November 27, 2011

Adoption Friendly Language Letter

I have sent the letter out first to my cousins and aunts and uncles that grew their families with adoption.  The letter has not been sent and I'm open to comments/suggestions.

Dear Family and Friends,

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. During our last year of waiting we have had many wonderful conversations with family and friends. We also realize that adoption language is new to many of you. So we thought we would take the opportunity to talk about 'adoption friendly' language.

Each adoption is different and each family that grows with adoption is different. We also want to start to prepare you all for the arrival of our baby. Adoption is not something that we plan to keep a secret and we will openly discuss in our home. We hope that you can become comfortable discussing adoption as well to help reinforce that our baby will be special because s/he will have two sets of mothers and fathers that love them. Us and their birth parents (birth mother/birth father).

The birthparents will work with our agency to create an adoption plan. Parental rights will terminate 21 days after the birth. We will care for the baby during the 21 days during which the birthparents can decide not to continue with the adoption plan.  After termination of parental rights we become guardians and wait another five months approximately before we go to court to become parents. Birthparents do not “give up” their baby but rather “place” their child with us as it is a proactive choice they are making that is not easy.

The story of how the birth parents came to make an adoption plan as well as how our baby arrives in our arms is all part of our child’s adoption story. We want to share our child's story first with them which means that parts of the story will not be shared until our child is older. Each child's adoption story belongs to the child and is not ours to share.

We are excited that you will become aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and friends to our child on the day our baby is born. Our baby will be our son/daughter and your niece/nephew, cousin, grandchild, or friend. If you want to share our good news you can tell people we “have/had a baby” because kind of like a cookie you don't have to bake it to have it. Its a balance when sharing about adoption- the stranger in the grocery line doesn't need to know, but our close friends/family will know. The word adoption will never be a part of our introduction when introducing our baby to someone for the first time.  We ask that you use the same care when introducing our baby.  When in doubt leave it out (or ask us)!

If you are not sure how to ask a question or how to refer to something related to the adoption please ask. If you know other families that are touched by adoption ask them what language they would like you to use as this letter is what we feel is best for our family. Part of the reason we wanted to start the conversation now is we want everyone to be as comfortable and excited about our growing family as we are.

We continue to wait for our baby and are eager to become parents. We thank you all for supporting us through our wait.


  1. Great letter. Love it- it is very sensitive and yet brings lots of important issues to point.

    I know I don't comment very often (because I am usually reading on my phone) but I just love your blog. I get excited every time I see a new post. You are such a great writer and your posts are very encouraging. I am so happy to be following along in your journey.

  2. Thank you Amber!! I hope you dont mind but I plan on attaching your list of adoption friendly/non-adoption friendly language at the bottom.

  3. Hi! I was wondering if you would mind if I post an excerpt from your letter on my adoption blog. I'm writing about how my husband and I are going to educate our friends and family about adoption language, and I'd love to include a paragraph or two of what you've written as a great example.

  4. Yes feel free to use it if you think its helpful! Is love to see what you come up with! I've had a few family members tell me it was helpful. Also I can refer to the letter when im not comfortable sharing something.