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Frustrating Language in Adoption/Foster Care


Forum: Adoption

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  #1  
May 15th, 2010, 02:19 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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So, eashley brought up a good point in another thread about the way we use words and the implications they can bring. Perhaps we can make this a stickie to help folks who are just starting out in the process.

What are some frustrating things that have been said to you or that you've heard dealing with adoption/foster care?

A few to start us out:

- I could never do foster care. I would get too attached.
This implies that I don't get attached or am some kind of heartless person who can just "give up" a child at whim. Which is very far from the case. I do get attached to every child in my home and I miss them and think of them often. I just know that I am willing to hurt so that they don't have to hurt so much.

- Birthmother. This is controversial. But for me, I think biological mother (if a distinction needs to be made) is more appropriate. The term "birthmother" seems to imply that all that person did was birth that child and nothing more. I think it is demeaning to parents as a whole. Especially when they parented that child for a while before the child was moved to another home for some reason.

I have more, but what are some of yours?
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  #2  
May 15th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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I'll pop in here.

I think when people comment to me about the BM by saying, "how can she just give up her baby"... it kills me!

Or, someone has asked me, what kind of role will the "real mom" play in all this. Seriously, what am I... the fake mom?!?
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  #3  
May 15th, 2010, 06:35 PM
eash's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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My issue in the previous thread was more about hierarchy - as having biological children is best, then having embryo adoption is second because at least you can give birth, then adopting from foster care, etc etc. It is assumed that every woman wants the same thing and this simply is not true. Not every woman wants to give birth or be pregnant. Not every woman on this board went through years of fertility treatment to get here and adoption is a second choice. I think when we talk about adoption, we have to be very careful that we never allow ourselves to view adoption as saving these children, having it be a second choice to biological children, or anything other than these are the children we want as the first and only choice. Anything else is simply not fair to our kids.

Once you start to feel that way, the language falls into place. You lose the "my own" kids. My adopted son is my own son. I am his real mom, etc. If you have to qualify any of it, adoption might not be the right choice.
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  #4  
May 15th, 2010, 10:14 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well, for me, adoption wasn't my first or only choice. I chose both routes of becoming a parent. It wasn't because I had hard pregnancies or uncertain results or because I lost my son that I chose adoption. I chose adoption because I wanted to adopt. There really wasn't more to it than that.

I chose foster care because I want to help and there is a great need. I see the children as mine while they are with me, but I also understand they have another family too. It isn't so different as many countries where "it takes a village to raise a child."

Personally I read "have my own" as saying "have my own biological children." When saying I want kids of my own... it means children who are legally my own children... adopted or biological. But I could see how it could be read differently by different people. Which is why I think a thread like this is important. Most folks see nothing wrong with the way they word statements or they wouldn't word them that way. I believe the majority of people are not setting out to offend, just don't understand why that type language might be frustrating.

Back to topic though, as I've strayed...

- The words "gave up" for adoption. That implies a lot of bad stuff. I believe most biological parents struggle VERY hard with the idea of not full-time parenting their child, but they come to a decision that for whatever reason it is best to PLACE that child with another family to raise him or her. So they aren't giving up.
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  #5  
May 16th, 2010, 07:53 AM
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I don't have any to add, but I do have to say that I appreciate threads like this because I don't know the correct terminology yet.

I will probably offensive terms (in the case of adoptions, not cursing) on this board occasionally until I figure out the correct wording. Sorry in advanced!
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  #6  
May 16th, 2010, 08:25 AM
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I don't think there is any need to apologize. Everyone has to learn somewhere and I have never found JM to be a place where people can't be open and honest and learn along the way.
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  #7  
May 16th, 2010, 04:20 PM
3TeamH's Avatar Hayley
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Absolutely! I am so thankful that was pointed out, and happily edited those words. I am learning and growing, so thanks for the patience
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  #8  
May 17th, 2010, 01:30 PM
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Birthmother is a controversial one for me, only because all the exposure I've had with Biological mothers (To my knowledge I don't know any other biological mothers except for my own) it's been negative exposure. So that means I'm more prone to using the negative term for it. All my Birthmoother did was give birth to me, she didn't stay at the hsopital longer then nessecary, she refused to have me in her room after I was born. She didn't try to find my parents, that was all my biological Father. That being said I'm trying to change my terminology and I apologize in advance if I insult anyone, it's not my intention.

Gave up is a touchy one for me too, my father gave me a life that he couldn't give me himself, he's told me straight out that the hardest thing he's ever had to do in his life was walk out of the hosptial I was born in without me in his arms.

I'll come back when I've thought of more.
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  #9  
May 20th, 2010, 03:09 PM
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Sorry for the double post, but I thought of another one.

Real parents: in relation to the biological parents. Like "Why didn't your real parents want you?" if somebody is talking to an adopted child. ummmm, they did want me, they adopted me, that usually means they wanted me. Real parents are the ones who potty train you, wipe your tears and make sure you're given food every day. Last I checked my parents (adopted) were the ones to do that for me.
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Thank you to the wonderful ladies who mad the blinkies!

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude..... These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are percisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character and increase our compassion for others."
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  #10  
May 20th, 2010, 06:10 PM
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Mine is a little odd, but my husband and I are planning on adopting and Ive heard so many times. "Your young, you can have your own why would you adopt?" It just kills me, becuase I plan on having my own but I also want to adopt. Its just so rude to think that only parents who are infertile want to adopt.
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  #11  
May 20th, 2010, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snicole90 View Post
Mine is a little odd, but my husband and I are planning on adopting and Ive heard so many times. "Your young, you can have your own why would you adopt?" It just kills me, becuase I plan on having my own but I also want to adopt. Its just so rude to think that only parents who are infertile want to adopt.
my parents had my three brother's and then they adopted me, so it's not always infirtile couples who want to adopt.
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Thank you to the wonderful ladies who mad the blinkies!

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude..... These experiences, while often difficult to bear at the time, are percisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character and increase our compassion for others."
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  #12  
May 21st, 2010, 10:19 AM
3TeamH's Avatar Hayley
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^ That's us. I recently told my mom and sister about wanting to do an EA and they literally rolled their eyes, said I was "crazy" and told me that my biological kids are so beautiful that I should just have another one. So incredibly ignorant
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  #13  
May 21st, 2010, 05:32 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Amen to that! Most people assume we went into foster care simply because they thought I'd decided to have no more biological children because of the trial it is on my body. When we got pregnant again a WHOLE lot of people said, "Oh, so you won't be fostering anymore, then."

Umm, nope... we'll still do that too.
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  #14  
June 8th, 2010, 10:14 PM
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I am grateful for this thread too. I guess people need gentle reminders and/or a new perspective on how they look at adoption.
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  #15  
August 4th, 2010, 10:34 AM
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Thank you so much for this thread. We are just starting out, and this has been very helpful!
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