Please try to learn the correct words when you are speaking about adoption. Birth mothers are just that and no more or less. They are not the "NATURAL" or "REAL" mother. If they were it would make you the "UNNATURAL" and "UNREAL" parent. Think about that for a moment.
Birth parents do not "GIVE UP" or "GIVE AWAY" a baby. Again, these have a negative connotation. Birth parents, "RELINQUISH" or "PLACE" a baby for adoption. Most are trying to do what is best for themselves and the baby. They are not giving up in any sense of the word. Members of Concerned United Birth parents who are from closed adoptions use the term "SURRENDER." I don't like this term, but most CUB members feel strongly this is the best term to use. The term "PUT UP" for adoption was used when children from the Orphan Trains going West were "PUT UP" on cattle platforms for viewing before being chosen. It is not an acceptable term either as we no longer do this. (Please ask about the six Joan Lowry paperback books, which talk about the Orphan Train in novel form. These are well written and worth having in a child's library. Also, Ellen has a sensitive film for loan entitled "HEAVEN ON EARTH" which is a compelling account of the British Orphan Train movement between 1867 and 1914 to Canada.)
Positive Adoption Language (P.A.L.) is a concept pioneered twenty-five years ago by Marietta Spencer, a social worker at the Children's Home Society of Minnesota. It was refined in the last decade by a handful of adoption advocates. P.A.L acknowledges the thoughtfulness and responsibility of birth parents who make an adoption choice. Negative adoption language tends to judge birth parents harshly or portrays them as victims. P.A.L's more neutral vocabulary promotes understanding among members of the adoption circle by acknowledging that each has experienced both gain and loss and happiness and pain in the adoption process.
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