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Understanding Adoption PC

Understanding adoption PC..where do we even begin?

There are so many “politically correct (PC)” terms in the adoption world. Understanding Adoption PC can be more confusing than most other issues in adoption. A term that is ok in one online group may get you banned from another group. Sometimes that is displayed clearly in the group’s rules and other times you don’t find out until 15 group members simultaneously virtually jump down your throat.

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So here are the adoption PC basic abbreviations and meaning in hopes of helping your Understanding of Adoption PC

AD Adoptive Dad
AF Adoptive Father
AI Artificial Insemination
AM Adoptive Mother
AP Adoptive Parent/s
BC Birth Certificate
BF Birth Father or Biological Father (also BDad)
BM Birth Mother or Biological Mother (also BMom )
CoC Certificate of Citizenship
Consent Voluntary consent to adoption (signed by biological mother/father)
DD Dear Daughter
DH Dear Husband
DS Dear Son
DW Dear Wife
DOA Date Of Adoption
DOB Date Of Birth
DOR Date Of Referral
DOT Date Of Travel
EM  Expectant Mother
FP Fingerprint / Fingerprinting
FM First Mother
FF First Father
FP Fingerprint / Fingerprinting, may also be Family Placement
HS Home Study / homestudy
IA International Adoption
INS Immigration & Naturalization Service (now USCIS)
NSN Non-Special Needs
PAP Prospective Adoptive Parent(s)
PPR Post Placement Report
RAD Reactive Attachment Disorder
SN Special Needs
SW Social Worker
TA Travel Approval
TPR Termination of Parental Rights
USCIS US Customs & Immigration Services (Dept. of Homeland Security)
WC Waiting Child

The main conflicts in adoption PC seem to be what to call who in relation to the child’s family.  The woman who has not yet given birth should always be an expectant mother (with expectant father, and whatever other family is involved).  This is because this woman (or the father) may decide to parent at anytime up to the day that her/his voluntary consent to adoption becomes irrevocable.  The law on the time period for being able to revoke the consent varies from state to state.  A child placed for adoption then has 2 sets of parents and sometimes a whole host of other family.  Each situation is different and families have to decide for themselves what to call everyone.  The biological mother is usually called by her first name or some combination of ‘Mom’ and the first name, however online that is a different story.  Some people use the terms Birth Mom, BioMom, BM, BMom or First Mom to describe the woman who gave birth to the child.  These terms are used by both biological mothers/fathers and adoptive parents and family.

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From our personal situation, I don’t think putting any label before my son’s mother’s position seems right.  I wouldn’t want to have to go my whole life being called Little Man’s adoptive mother.  I am his mother.  Calling her his birth mom or biological mom just feels like I am limiting her significance in his life.  Our son was placed from her loving arms into ours by her when he was 7 month’s old.  She had loved him and raised him to that point and we were going to take over.  He is OUR son, the 3 of us.  Just because she isn’t here day to day doesn’t reduce her position to me.  He will always know he has 2 mothers (his other father was never involved).  I guess when he gets to school and talks about having 2 moms I may have to explain that we aren’t a quaint lesbian couple, but that he was adopted…and yes, I also subscribe to the camp that says after adoption is final that a child “was adopted” not “is adopted”.  it’s something that happened, not a label unless he or we need to bring up the subject.  We aren’t ashamed, it’s just not all of his story, and he doesn’t have to be defined by it.  That’s also an adoption PC issue.  For now, we call his other mom by her first name and when he is old enough to understand, he can decide.

Hope this helps you more than confuses you with Understanding Adoption PC.  Good luck in your adoption journey!