To me this does not work

23 Oct

I have seen this article linked many times recently and to me the article tries to combine two things that don’t necessarily work together.

Top 10 Keys to using Positive Adoption Language

The article starts off with this:

Every year, our country dedicates the month of November as National Adoption Month. The goal is to raise awareness about the adoption of children from foster care and facilitate the creation of forever families for the 115,000 children in foster care nationwide. Worldwide, the number of children in need of adoptive parents climbs into the millions.

It goes on talking about foster care adoption which I support for children who are legally free for adoption.  I take no exception to what they write until it comes to this:

Positive Adoption Language:

Words are very powerful. Positive adoption language aims to end the negative stereotypes and misconceptions regarding adoption, while educating others that all families look different and form in different ways. Here are some keys to positive adoption language.

And specifically this:

5. When speaking about adoption, it is important to note that birth parents make an adoption plan to place the child in a home to be cared for and raised. The child who was adopted was not “given away” or “unwanted.” The child should know he or she is loved and an adoption plan was created for them to live in a forever family.

And how exactly did parents who had their rights terminated by the state for cause come up with that plan, and exactly what was included in that plan to get their rights terminated.  Think about that for a minute – the full implications of it – because if you want to use PAL with foster care adoptions then it has to work.

So many other 10 PAL statements do not work in conjunction with adoption from foster care that it makes no sense to link the two together.

Neither does PAL work for step parent adoption – go ahead and see how it fails at each statement.  I  would hesitate to apply it to most international adoptions either, and certainly not to all domestic adoptions.

I’m not a fan of PAL as I find it dishonest and tries to sugar-coat something that comes with a whole lot of loss and pain, and seeks to elevate one side over the other instead of simply recognising both sides are important.

Linking the two parts of this article together does not work for me at all.


Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


Tags: , , , ,

3 responses to “To me this does not work

  1. Dannie

    October 24, 2011 at 2:15 am

    yeah I take big exception to say that termination of parental rights was a sign of true love. I went to that court hearing and I was nauseated all day and literally sick to my stomach…there is nothing pretty or positive about that experience even if that ultimately meant that my daughter ended up with me. PAL and National Adoption Month which started off to talk about specifically foster care adoptions really don’t go hand in hand.

    Knowing my daughter’s personality and her intuitiveness already innate in her, I’d be stupid and callous to use certain PAL terminology when having frank conversations with her (appropriate conversations of course, but it won’t be roses).


  2. Dannie

    October 24, 2011 at 2:22 am

    yanno….it didn’t hit me until tonight….and of course I’m not blogging about it at the moment, but yesterday my mom asked me if I felt any jealousy or insecurity about dating a man who was widowed and obviously loved his late wife dearly. I answered that no I didn’t feel jealous or insecure. He loved her and I am not her. If she were alive we would not be dating or have met….it doesn’t mean that we don’t enjoy each other’s company and it certainly doesn’t mean that if anything positive were to happen in the future I’d be replacing his late wife. There was nothing positive about him losing his wife.
    Adoption is the same way. I enjoy and love my daughter dearly. If the situation would have been different she would have never had needed to be my daughter. There is nothing positive (or let’s just say that we shouldn’t sugar coat just to avoid the fact that there was loss or that it was a tragic event) about that. We move forward as best we can because it is what it is.
    Disclaimer: I love my daughter more than life itself….unfortunately I’ve been questioned about that lately….I guess I joined the dark side :/


    • The adopted ones

      October 24, 2011 at 12:27 pm

      Dannie – It is them and their needs that makes them question you. I find that a lot in the meant to be group/must be same or better than group. Loss is part of life – it hurts like heck and the deep loss stays with you in some shape or form for life – it becomes part of who you are and quite often makes you a person who is able to understand others going through different losses.

      There is no question in my mind you love your little one – you just want to live life on the real side of the coin that is the reality. His past also shaped who he his and without that past you may not have met someone who “you” connected too as someone you wanted to know better.



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