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Adopting in Alberta

Words and how we use them can greatly affect others - especially children. Adoption can be a very sensitive topic and it's important to use positive adoption language (PAL). Once you announce your plans to adopt a child, you'll most likely hear many outdated terms used by people who don't realize that phrases like 'real or natural parents' are offensive. In fact, society in general, really doesn't understand adoption and many people have misconceptions about it.

By using positive adoption language, we educate others about adoption and hopefully the misconceptions surrounding adoption can become a thing of the past.

Positive Language

Negative Language

  •      Biological or birth parent(s)
  •      Real parent(s), natural parent(s)
  •      Parent
  •      Adoptive parent
  •      Birth child
  •      Own child or natural child
  •      My child
  •      My adopted child, a child of my own
  •      Child with special needs
  •      Damaged child, hard-to-place child
  •      Was adopted
  •      Is adopted
  •      Make an adoption plan, choose adoption
  •      Give up child, give child away, surrender the child
  •      Terminate parental rights
  •      Give up your child
  •      To parent
  •      To keep the child
  •      Born to unmarried parents
  •      Illegitimate child
  •      Waiting child
  •      Adoptable child, free child, available child
  •      International adoption
  •      Foreign adoption
  •      Adoption triad
  •      Adoption triangle
  •      Permission to sign a release
  •      Disclosure
  •      Making contact with birth family
  •      Reunion / to reunite with parents
  •      Search, locate
  •      Track down parents
  •      Court termination
  •      Child taken away


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