"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world" (James 1:27)
This month is national adoption month. Every day I am so grateful how adoption has blessed our lives and we eagerly await for God's timing to bring home our second child from Ethiopia.
Today is National Adoption Day. What is National Adoption Day??
On National Adoption Day, a number of courts and communities in the United States come together to finalize thousands of adoptions of children from foster care. More than 300 events are held each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in November, in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care. In total, more than 40,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day
With the awareness that national adoption month brings of the millions of children that need homes, it is my prayer that more people will be moved toward adoption or fostering.
Although I rarely correct people when they don't use positive adoption language, I believe that they should be educated and taught positive adoption language. The following article from "Adoptive Families" is a good starting place to learn positive adoption language.
￼REPRINT JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2002 ISSUE SEND THIS ADOPTION STYLEBOOK TO YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER! www.AdoptiveFamilies.com ￼
More than 100 adoption groups, profes- sionals, and individuals have signed a let- ter drafted by the Accurate Adoption Reporting group to the editor of the Associated Press stylebook, used by journalists around the country, and to the editors of stylebooks used by a wide range of other publications, asking them to add an entry on adoption in style- books. “Through their word choices, even well-meaning journalists can inad- vertently convey the misconception that adoptive families are somehow less gen- uine and permanent, and that people who were adopted—and their role in a family—remain somehow different. A stylebook entry on adoption would help journalists use language that conveys the fact that adoptive families are just like any other, both in law and in loving rela- tionships.” A copy of the suggested style- book is below.We urge you to send it to your local newspaper editor. SUGGESTED ADOPTION STYLEBOOK
☛ As with race or gender, the fact that a person was adopted should be mentioned only if it’s essential to the story. If it is used, its relevance should be made clear. A daughter who joined the family through adoption is—and should be described as—simply a daughter. If it is relevant to mention adoption, we suggest past tense phrasing such as: “She was adopted in 1997” rather than “She is adopted.” Adoption is one of many events in a person’s past, not an immutable personal trait.
☛ An adopted person’s parents should be referred to simply as father, mother, or parents. The man and woman who shared in the child’s con- ception can be referred to as the birth-, genetic or biological parents (not “real” or “natural” parents).
☛ Writers should avoid terms such as “abandoned” or “given up.” It is usu- ally inaccurate to refer to children avail- able for adoption as “orphans.” Often, their birthparents are alive. Nor should children be referred to as “unwanted.” It is better to say that birthparents placed the child for adoption, made an adop- tion plan, or transferred parental rights.
☛ The reasons that people adopt are rarely relevant. To suggest or say that parents “couldn’t have a baby of their own” is inaccurate. Adoption is not sec- ond best. Children who join families through adoption are their parents “own” by law and by love.
☛ Stories should not portray adop- tive parents as unusually selfless or saint- ly. In most cases, families adopt because they want to be parents and are no more saintly or selfless than other parents.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Mike Feazel, Accurate Adoption Reporting, 2115 Ward Court, NW, Dept. MF, Washington, DC 20037. To subscribe, visit www.AdoptiveFamilies.com/order or call toll-free 800-372-3300 © 2002 Adoptive Families Magazine. All Rights Reserved.