Adoption Stories

Yours. Mine. Ours.

Q: Adoption as an Adjective? A: Yes--and No.

Is it necessary to qualify how a child came to be your child?

Should variations of the word adopt-adopted, adoptive, adoptable, adoption-be used as an adjective?

For some topics people don't mind. For example:
Here is my adoption paperwork. No problem.
But what about:
This is my adopted child. Meet my adoptive mom, dad, sis, bro. A problem? Not sure?

This blog is called Adoption Stories. Adoption is employed as an adjective to describe in a global way what readers can expect in the content. Similarly, we have Adoption Awareness Month (it's in November). And you can buy adoption greeting cards (I've seen them at Target). All seem benign.

Dig deeper and things get complicated. We want to celebrate adoption yet can be sensitive when others use it to describe how a family was made. Some people don't seem to mind while others do.

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We don't often hear people saying this is my biological child. We'd think it odd if we did. Is it even necessary to qualify how a child came to be your child (or a parent came to be your parent)? On the other hand, is it wrong to use a variation of adoption as an adjective? Maybe we should ask: when is it right? For surely it is--and there are many kids and parents who are proud to tell you it is, whether they use the word as an adjective or not.  

Meredith Resnick, L.C.S.W., is a health writer and licensed social worker. She is also the mother of two adopted daughters.

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