Make up your mind…

04 Sep

Sometimes adoption conversations about language makes your head spin, they seldom turn out well, sometimes though, they defy logic.  A discussion ensues with many adoptive parents weighing in on the term adopter, some incredibly valid reasons, some with very personal feelings and experiences, some are okay with it, some have some out-there reasoning’s too.

And sometimes – you get this from the same adoptive parent (AP) all said in the same conversation:

AP – I don’t like the term adopter.

AP – I’m an adoptive mom.

AP – I’m just a mom – adoptive not needed.

And then, you want to say – why do you think adoptees have found it way easier to name their place in adoption by the term adoptee?  It’s the role held in adoption, it’s not a label like adopted child is.  It defines which place you hold, not your identity.

PS.  I know people don’t like the term adopter and I seldom use it without a disclaimer about why I’m using it, despite the fact that mom called herself an adopter, because that’s what she did, she adopted us, just like I’m an adoptee, because I’m adopted.

Have a good week.



Posted by on September 4, 2017 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , ,

11 responses to “Make up your mind…

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    September 4, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    I see “adopter” on sites for pet shelters too and do not care for it, but I know logically it is just ‘one who adopts’ and nothing more.


    • TAO

      September 4, 2017 at 9:37 pm

      Most in the US don’t care for it, their choice whether to use it or not, not mine for sure – and the term has been used in ugly ways. But if you do want adoptive mom and then say hell no, I’m just a mom then…

      Liked by 2 people

  2. anenomekym

    September 4, 2017 at 11:27 pm

    And funnily(?), many large, popular computers or software programs don’t even recognize “adoptee” as a valid word. Often, when I type “adoptee”, it appears with a red line underneath, indicating that I should spell check that word.

    So, it appears, our histories are erased, births never happened, identities are in question, our relationships don’t make sense, our feelings are confusing, that which and those who “define” us aren’t recognized…

    it’s no wonder many of us feel as ghosts and wonder if we even exist.

    And those who chose to adopt us don’t even want to be associated with what they did to/for us, because adopting is such an awful thing they eagerly sought and chose to do.

    And to add to this tongue twister of alternate universes, if “adoptee” isn’t an acceptable word, and neither is “adopter”, then is adopting an acceptable action? Maybe all those people who adopted didn’t really adopt, and we aren’t adoptees/were never adopted, and adoption doesn’t really exist.

    Yep, talking and thinking about adoption can make one’s head spin. Perhaps, it’s best not to. I know some people would love that. Perhaps they shouldn’t adopt then.

    Liked by 4 people

    • anenomekym

      September 5, 2017 at 10:06 pm

      I forgot to include that in this alternate universe where births didn’t happen and histories are erased, parents are no longer considered parents, but retain more “rights” and privileges than parents who are still parents – just look at some of the laws that seal off birth certificates from those whose births were recorded.


  3. Pj

    September 6, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Yes,sometimes , “adoption covresations make my head spin “. I remember one forum where an adoptee/moderator didn’t want the term birth mother used. I’m a very literal person ( sometimes that gets me in trouble 🙂 so birth mother is fine with me.


  4. AdoptiveBlackMom

    September 9, 2017 at 9:51 am

    I see those confabs and avoid them. I am all of those things and my daughter is an adoptee. We are free to use all of these descriptors and we do when the circumstances allow or demand. I think some parents remains so privileged and threatened on this path that they want to erase the very thing that brought us together. I think some parents struggle with feeling not quite authentic because of it and resist the descriptors. They take then personally when they are just descriptors. I will say this is one of the easier parts of adopting an older child— we are hyper-conscious of what kind of family we are and the various ways we describe ourselves. Hope can speak for herself and how she does cues me in on how I should most times.


    • TAO

      September 9, 2017 at 1:26 pm

      Of course you’re right in the not feeling authentic…but hiding/pretending otherwise will ensure you never get there.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Evangeline

    September 11, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    This was really simple yet interesting to me. I’m an adoptive mom, yet I feel threatened myself by the title “adoptive”. I’m the one who says in my own heart, “adoptive” not necessary. I don’t want my kids to feel like they are any different than if they had my own flesh and blood, but I love your perspective. I need to hear this perspective from another adoptee. Thanks for your candidness!


    • TAO

      September 11, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Evangeline – we are different, accepting that is the first part of getting it in a way that will benefit not only yourself but your children too, especially if/when they struggle with processing being adopted. I’m not saying treat them different but accept being adopted *is* different in so many ways growing up in a family you don’t biologically match. I don’t know how long you’ve been a mom or how old your child/ren is/are – for some they have an easy time of accepting difference doesn’t equal bad – others it takes more time to get there. We are different, different doesn’t equal bad or less than, it just is.

      FYI – Mom only referred to herself as an adoptive mom or adopter when the subject called for it, otherwise she was just mom, we were just her kids, not her adopted kids, nor was she our adoptive mom. Her comfort level with all things adopted was really good – it didn’t make her squirm or feel less than – but then she and dad were born before and then grew up during the great depression, you learn to accept what you can’t change and make the best of what you have – they excelled and they thrived.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Evangeline

        September 12, 2017 at 10:16 am

        I truly appreciate your insight. It really helps me to understand how my children might be feeling. We adopted them as infants, but they are just now getting to the age where they are asking those tough questions and I often feel inept to answer them. I’ve found, though, that being open and honest and being able to answer the questions I think they can handle has helped our relationship, not damaged it. Thanks for the insight and encouragement!

        Liked by 1 person


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