What goes through your mind when you hear the phrase “give up”? What comes to my mind is, “I don’t know; I give up!” Some people “give up smoking” because it’s bad for them. Think about the phrase, “to give away.” What do you think of when you hear that? I gave away some furniture I didn’t want anymore. In either case, what usually comes to mind is that whatever was “given up” or “given away” wasn’t important, wasn’t needed, or wasn’t wanted.
This is why in adoption, we don’t use those terms. Imagine the psychological damage that can be done to adoptees who hear these phrases and think of themselves as being equivalent to discarded furniture. A birth mother doesn’t give up, she makes a plan. She takes the time to visit with a counselor, chooses a family and even meets them (which is scary!), fills out lots paperwork, meets with an attorney, and attends court to terminate her parental rights. That’s a lot of work, heart wrenching work, and far from the notion that someone just “gave up” or “gave away” their baby.
“There is nothing I’ve ever done that has been more difficult, or more important. Not one day goes by that I don’t think about the child I placed for adoption. But it was the right decision for both of us at the time.” – a birth mother
The pregnancy clients that we at LSS are privileged to work with are making a plan for their baby. Some choose to parent their baby and some choose to place their baby for adoption. They are not “keeping” or “giving up” their baby. So in recognition of National Adoption Month this November, practice using more positive and appropriate adoption terms. See our blog about the Weight of Words in Adoption https://lsssdblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/the-weight-of-words/.
LSS provides Pregnancy Counseling Services statewide. For more information on Pregnancy Counseling or to refer someone, please contact one of our Pregnancy Counselors:
East River: Diane Pillar – 605-221-2413 or West River: Shirley Conrad – 605-390-4016