More About Words

I have  a friend who is adopted and after she read what I had to say about the words birthmother and relinquish, it started her thinking about the language of adoption, too. She says “it’s like  a dance society does as it continually steps on toes.” 

She doesn’t like the word “chosen.” I hadn’t thought about it before, but the images it calls to my mind are pet store window, shelf of dolls or maybe the roster of eligible men I occasionally peruse on my favorite internet dating site. It seems to me that adoptive parents choose to adopt, but they seldom choose the baby (or at least they didn’t in the 50s, 60s and 70s. ) Telling a child she’s been chosen has implications meant to candy coat the fact that  she’s been given up.  I can see why parents would do that.  I can see that a young child might like that story……for a while even though it’s not accurate.  But later on it’s just one more thing that dances around the truth–and people get hurt.

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