Why You Shouldn’t Say You’re Giving Up Your Baby for Adoption: Understanding the Way Adoption Terminology is Changing in New York

She’s giving up her baby for adoption. We know you’ve said it. We all have. While there is nothing directly malicious about the language, we believe that it isn’t an accurate representation of a woman’s adoption journey. 

There’s a negative connotation with the term “giving up.” We use it to describe someone who has stopped trying, someone who has quit because it’s too hard, and/or someone who has stopped caring. As an expectant woman looking to place her child for adoption, you know that this couldn’t be further from the truth. 

At Adoption Choices of New York, we believe that women have the right to choose what is best for them during their unplanned pregnancy. Adoption isn’t an easy process, and if you have decided that it is the best path for you and your baby, you shouldn’t feel guilty or inadequate. Adoption is a loving choice, and we are here to support you throughout your adoption journey. 

Why Adoption Language Matters

More and more each year, we are challenging the language we use, and why we use it, in many different contexts. People are moving away from discriminatory word choice and from using phrases that convey a message they didn’t intend. The adoption sphere is no different. One of the biggest changes is distancing ourselves from the phrase: giving up your baby for adoption.

You may be wondering why it is necessary to make this distinction, and if changing a few words really makes a difference. We believe it does — and has. Words have an effect on us, whether we realize it or not. As a result, we want to use language that reflects the strength of birth mothers on their adoption journey.

Placing Your Baby for Adoption vs. Giving Up Your Baby for Adoption

The phrasing we like to use at Adoption Choices of New York is, “placing your baby for adoption.” The verb placing, rather than “giving up,” conveys that a woman is in control. She is choosing to place her child for adoption, because she knows it is the best decision. The idea that adoption is always a last resort that a woman has no control over is harmful and not true. Many women willingly seek out adoption, and they shouldn’t feel like their choice isn’t their own.

“Giving up” also sounds like you are making the wrong decision for your child. When a birth mother chooses adoption, she isn’t giving up on her baby. She is placing him or her with a loving adoptive family who is ready to expand their household. If you aren’t ready to raise a child for any reason, adoption means that you have considered your options, and that you are making a thoughtful choice for you and your baby. 

Choosing Adoption Doesn’t Mean You’re Giving Up

While you may still be facing backlash from your friends, family, or society about your choice to place your baby for adoption, it is important to remember that you have control. You should never feel like your adoption is a failure. 

Adoption is the best choice for many women, and it may be the best choice for you as well. Whether you decide to choose adoption, or you want to take a different path, you deserve compassion and we are here to support you.

If you want to learn more about adoption and the resources available to you, feel free to reach out to us or to read our birth mother blog. Adoption Choices of New York is available to assist with your adoption plan. Call us, text us, email us; we are here for you!
Contact Us 24/7: 800-505-8592 (Phone) | 518-478-8420 | Click to Email

About the Author: Alexandra Georgiton is a fourth-year student at the University of Cincinnati studying Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and is receiving certification in Copyediting and Publishing. She has been passionate about the English language for her entire life, and reading and writing have always been her favorite hobbies. She enjoys professional writing and editing because she loves to use her talent and love of writing to make a difference in the world.

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