Just a quick thought

21 May

Anyone else tired of the terms ‘Adoption Triad’, ‘Adoption Constellation’ and any other term that escapes my mind at the moment?

Why is it important to add a name at all?

I do my best to never use any of the collective terms because they all seem so redundant. We have terms to describe every role in adoption, the processes, the events, the people in it.

Why do we need an umbrella term in the first place?

What am I missing?

Tell me what you think in the comments, feel free to go off topic as well.


Posted by on May 21, 2021 in Adoption


Tags: , , , ,

25 responses to “Just a quick thought

  1. legitimatebastard

    May 21, 2021 at 1:06 am

    when I was new to adoption reform, over 45 years ago, it was helpful for me to have labels so I could picture in my mind who was who. Over time, yes, I saw that the term “Adoption Triangle” somehow made all sides equal, which really isn’t the case. And, there are more “sides” than natural parents, relinquished child becomes adoptee, and adoptive parents. Lawyers, agencies, sometimes delivery doctors, nurses, and clerks and social workers of all types. Priests, nuns, teachers and grandparents have their hands in this, too.

    Is there a collective phraise for all of this? I don’t like “the adoption constellation” and I’ve grown annoyed at “adoption triad”.

    For me, I speak for myself as an adopted person. Then add my natural parents, or simply, parents. I often correct people who call my parents “birthparents” and say that the only set of parents who have an adjective in front of the word “parent” are my adoptive parents. This usually clears up any misunderstanding.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. beth62

    May 21, 2021 at 3:11 am

    Is it a right triangle? A scalene? Are we workin with the lengths of the sides, or the degree of the angles? I still have these questions, decades later.
    I guess that’s why somebody came up with the Triad, a group of three. Which doesn’t add up for me, I count my mother in one group, and father, who didn’t know I existed, in a whole nother ballpark from the thing they want to call a triad. It ain’t that simple from my direction.
    Where do I put the state, the preacher, nurse, doctor, lawyer, gov’t worker, agency, politician, judge, media… they don’t fit in that triad either, but are too large of a group in all this for me to keep hidden outside of view. The Advocates of Adoption want to stay in the loop, up in my business, forever.
    Oh, the Constellation could handle all that I guess, how magical that sounds… don’t leave out the foggy milky way of Advocates.

    I think the term Adoption (Adoptee, Adopted Parent, I’m Adopted, I Adopted, they adopted) has become too broad to use to describe what happens to people like me. Too broad of a brush to be painted with today. Feel like I need a whole bunch of adjectives in front of Adoptee lately.

    I don’t cuss as bad when I work with rectangles. It’s all making me cuss, my non-posted replies have looked like this lately @#$%@$%^&**^$#@!!@$%^&&**)^$#@!@#$%%^^^%#@!#$%^^^%$#@@#
    $$$%%%$#@%^^$$###$@!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    So ya know, no cents or sense in all that. I think my cussing spell is passing. I found a hole in the earth by accident yesterday :/ it required a whole lot of cussing, kinda tired now. Found garnets and then a gold vein way back in the crack today. The best news being, it wasn’t a sink hole and my little drone went in the hole today, not me! Tomorrow might be a different story tho 😀 I think I’m catching the fever.

    Liked by 4 people

    • TAO

      May 21, 2021 at 12:35 pm

      “Oh, the Constellation could handle all that I guess, how magical that sounds… don’t leave out the foggy milky way of Advocates.”

      I read Advocates as Avocados and just about spit out my coffee. Hope I remember doing this because if I do, Advocates will always be Avocados…

      You always make my day Beth, thank you.
      PS – love garnets, they have a depth and color that speaks to me.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. beth62

    May 21, 2021 at 4:20 am

    I don’t think we’re missing anything deep, it’s magical marketing terms used by this industry.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Lara/Trace

    May 21, 2021 at 6:14 pm

    There has to be a psychology factor to this triad-thingy, right? And a PR angle, right? All to make propaganda more (what?) balanced (no) or appear to be a good thing? It’s so hard to fight with words. I do swear like Beth but get fined a quarter for every f*ck I say – so I’m slowing down too.
    Did you read this Tao? I found it fascinating:
    Finding good words is what adoptees seem to do very well.


    • TAO

      May 21, 2021 at 7:08 pm

      Agree, like one big happy family…

      Liked by 1 person

    • beth62

      May 21, 2021 at 11:07 pm

      Dang that’s a deal, I get charged a buck for a f bomb! A quarter for the rest. I have a whole box of quarters from my vending machine if you need any, I don’t think I could cuss that much. You could always get a vending machine, I get a lot of my cuss quarters back 🙂 The more I swear, the more I sell lol

      Liked by 2 people

    • TAO

      May 21, 2021 at 11:43 pm

      Totally missed the link – will come back and read tomorrow when my mind isn’t worn out.


  5. KPMominTexas

    May 23, 2021 at 8:55 pm

    I love your questions. 💗


  6. Robyn C

    May 24, 2021 at 2:50 am

    So, there are adoptees, adoptive parents, birth/first parents, foster children, foster parents, adoptive siblings, biological siblings, step siblings, step parents, extended birth/first family members, extended step family members, fictive kin, adoption professionals, egg/sperm/embryo donors (assuming we include “embryo adoption” in adoption)… There needs to be a term for “everyone involved in adoption” – and maybe that’s it “everyone involved in adoption” or just “adoption community.” Sometimes you really are talking specifically about only those in the “adoption triad.” It’s human nature to label things. I think “adoption constellation” sounds corny, personally. I don’t have a problem with the “triad” but I also don’t think that “triad” inherently means everyone is equal.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TAO

      May 24, 2021 at 12:50 pm

      I’d be fine with “adoption community” and agree with the corny label, it was the word constellation that did me in


      • beth62

        May 24, 2021 at 10:55 pm

        It is terribly corny LOL


    • L4R

      May 25, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      I’m in the minority, but I’m actually okay with calling it a triad. Saves me time from listing out the three major players.

      This is the first I’ve heard of the constellation. I’m not going to look up the exact definition. I have a pretty good idea what it means. But, nah, I could probably live without that phrase.


      • TAO

        May 25, 2021 at 7:23 pm

        I can live with triad too L4R – the constellation tipped me over in a yucky way.


        • cb

          May 26, 2021 at 5:46 am

          I’m pretty sure I’ve used “triad” myself. I think it should only be used after an adoption has taken place, I do have a bit of an issue with it being used by some adoption professionals to include HAPs before an adoption has taken place.

          Liked by 1 person

      • beth62

        May 26, 2021 at 7:54 pm

        I think when I first ran across the triad idea, was the first time I may have truly noticed/believed that I am very separate from both of the other two angles in the triangle. Got my own little independent corner there, didn’t need to choose one of the other angles over another, could choose mine. Maybe when I realized the different levels of power in all the angles… was when I first wanted to blow up the world, when defiance, rebellion and anarchy became the highest goal LOL
        I don’t mind the term so much, and it does make it easier to talk about relationships between the big three. But there is nothing equal about that triangle, I’d draw it much differently.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. cb

    May 25, 2021 at 2:09 am

    I suppose it depends on the context.  I’ve probably used it myself occasionally on forums. 

    I think where it does bother me is the following:1.  When used by agencies and especially when used before an adoption has happened.  

    I sometimes see it used by those who talk about “Modern Adoption” and talk about “expectation parents and hopetful adoptive parents joyfully coming together to create an Adoption Triad with the child at the top”.  First of all, there is no triad before an adoption has happened, there is a dyad, i.e mother and unborn child, with an interested third party.  Even once the adoption has happened, it is not really like 3 equal groups coming together to “create a triad”.

    2.  There is also the symbol, i.e. the triangle with a heart.  I mean, I love both my families but to me the symbol seems designed more about “loving adoption”.  I know adoptees who like it and to them it is more about loving both their families but when I see APs use it, it seems more about loving what adoption has done for them.  

    Perhaps this article by an AP sums up why I am not really a fan of it:

    I will say more about it in an attached comment. 


    • cb

      May 25, 2021 at 2:10 am

      Initially she says about the symbol “The symbol is meant to honor all three sides of the adoption triad” which is fair enough but then she says “Therefore, combining a heart and a triangle is a wonderful way to symbolize and honor adoption.” which is a different thing altogether.   

      Also, she then talks about the adoption symbol being a good way to meet others within the adoption community.  She then says this later:
      “Seeing someone with the adoption symbol suggests they are part of the adoption team. It helps you to find those who would likely share similar ideas of family. Being part of a community is something those in adoption relationships bring up a lot. Because adoption is such a grueling, often time-consuming, and emotional journey, it feels good to find friends who have shared similar circumstances who can relate to your situation. It is difficult for someone who is not part of the adoption community to truly understand the paperwork, the meetings, the waits, and the sleepless nights we go through in the adoption process. However, when you see someone displaying the adoption symbol, connecting themselves to the adoption community, you know they understand what you have gone through. You know they have been part of the emotional adoption rollercoaster, whether it was as an adoptive parent, birth parent, or as an adoptee themselves.” 

      The problem with the above is that adoptees, bparents and apartments may have entirely different ideas of the “emotional adoption rollercoaster”


    • beth62

      May 25, 2021 at 11:30 am

      There are a lot of magical and dreamy beliefs in that article. Sometimes that is what people like, or need. If it helps the kids, and all of the parents in that type of Adoption, I’m all for it.

      I know someone who has a tattoo of the triad heart symbol honoring legally and socially accepted Adoption, except the broken heart has a big crack in it. :/ Must be a symbol of a different Adoption community.
      I tend to believe there are quite a few communities associated with Adoption.


      • cb

        May 26, 2021 at 5:43 am

        I don’t necessarily disagree with everything she is saying in the article. I wasn’t entirely sure if *all* members of the triad are going to be as sympathetic re “the waits” etc as her fellow APs.

        In regards to magical/dreamy beliefs in general, if everyone decides on their own to feel that way, that is one thing, my main issue is if the child feels that they would be raining on their parents parade if they have any feelings at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Gregory Luce

    June 2, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    Spot on. I avoid “constellation” and “triad” and all sorts of PR marketing gizmos that ignore the complexity of adoption and the people impacted by it. It’s complicated, and we aren’t sides of a triangle or a bunch of stars twinkling in space. And one that I heard recently was “different tribes in the triad.” OMG. 🙄

    Also, don’t get me started on the word “journey.”


    • TAO

      June 2, 2021 at 1:14 pm

      Thanks Gregory, now I’m going to be pondering on “adoption journey” today, until it too drops from my brain. 🙂


      • Gregory Luce

        June 2, 2021 at 2:53 pm

        I totally understand the use of journey (everyone uses it), but it comes across to me as a bit hokey and glib. Plus, it’s been co-opted by prospective adoptive parents to describe the process of adoption and the hardships they encounter on that “journey.” We’re not wandering around in the desert, people, nor on the transcontinental railroad (except those orphan trains, now that’s a journey).

        Liked by 1 person

        • TAO

          June 2, 2021 at 3:14 pm

          I went right to the prospective adoptive parents journey…


    • TAO

      June 2, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      “Different tribes” – just no.



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