So what should we call them?

The language of the world of adoption is a politically correct whirlpool that is hard to muddle through. Everyone has their own opinions of what each member of the adoption triad should be called. Birth parent is one of the most accepted terms in the world of adoption and one of the terms that I really CANNOT stand. The term birth parent is not one that can be monopolized and used only when speaking about adoption.

In the adoption world the term “birth parent” is used to describe a person who has given life to a child and then willingly relinquished or unwillingly had that child removed from their custody. However, in the world outside of adoption “birth parent” refers to ALL who have contributed to creating the life of a child. So in the world of adoption I am not a birth parent, but in the world outside of adoption I am a birth parent.

On adoption boards and other media when people are talking about the children in their lives, they give them a label. Adopted children are called adopted and birth children that are being raised by their natural parents are called biological. Many of the birth parents that participate in the adoption forums get really offended if adoptive parents refer to a child as “my birth child”, when that child was not placed for adoption. People who have placed children for adoption go nuts, complaining that the poster has “MISUSED” the term birth child are devaluing the process in which they have gone through by mislabeling the child as being a birth child and not a biological child. The fact is that the child is both, one parent just choose to raise the child while the other either gave up their rights of lost their rights to raise the child.

The terms MEAN the same thing. So why does it matter? Those who have placed their children for adoption need to realize that the term birth parent also applies to others outside of adoption.

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