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Was that an exclamation heard during your childhood?  It sure was in mine and perhaps it is time for a revival!

Many years ago, there was an effort in the adoption community referred to as “Positive Adoption Language”.  The idea was to be more intentional with the words we used to accurately convey our values and beliefs about adoption related concepts.  An example was to encourage moving away from “real parents” and toward “birth parents” because “real” implies that adoption is not a reality or that it is unnatural and the term “birth parents” describes the life-giving roles these persons play in the child’s life.  


We can make a similar impact by changing the language used to describe the behaviors we see in the youth and families we work with everyday.  Consider this:  During a child’s move to an adoptive family, have you ever heard someone describe a foster parent as “sabotaging” the placement? In our experience, it is often more accurate to describe these behaviors as the foster parent’s grief expression.  How would it impact our response if we made this change in language?

So next time the word “sabatoging” surfaces Watch Your Language!  

Read more from our February Newsletter

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