Giving Up a Child for Adoption vs. Placing a Child for Adoption: Why They’re Not the Same

Throughout your life, you’ve probably heard someone use the phrase, “give up a child for adoption” in that form or something similar. But have you ever heard anyone use the phrase, “place a child for adoption”? The chances of that are a lot less likely. Now, you may be thinking, Well, is there really that much of a difference between the two statements? At Adoption Choices of Florida, we think yes. 

Here’s the thing: when a birth mother chooses adoption, she’s not simply “giving up” her child. Choosing adoption is a lot more complex than that. Below, Adoption Choices of Florida discusses why more people should be using the phrase “place/placing a child for adoption” rather than “give/giving up a child for adoption.”   

Adoption is Not Giving Up!

We cannot emphasize it enough — adoption is not giving up! Contrary to what most people think, birth mothers do not simply “give up” their child. Again, choosing adoption is much more complex than that! When a birth mother chooses to place her child for adoption, she’s put a great deal of careful thought into a very difficult decision. 

Birth mothers choose adoption for a variety of reasons. The most common of these reasons include — but aren’t limited to — not being ready for parenthood, not being financially stable enough to raise a child, and/or having career or continuing education aspirations. Raising a child also requires a parent’s full attention and, if a birth mother is not yet ready to give that attention, placing her child for adoption is a very common alternative. Remember, there’s no guilt, shame or embarrassment in that! 

It’s important to note that if adoption didn’t exist, a child raised by a birth mother who isn’t or wasn’t ready to be a parent — or whatever the reason for placing the child for adoption is/was — might not necessarily get the care that they need. Again, when you have a child, their best interest needs to be your top priority! This is another reason why many birth mothers choose adoption. If a birth mother cannot say with confidence that she can and will prioritize her child’s best interest and needs, adoption may be a good fit for her. Be mindful, however, that just because adoption may be best for her and her child, that doesn’t make the decision to place the child for adoption any easier.

If you’ve done a little research on adoption and the adoption process, you may have noticed that most adoption agency websites still use the phrase “give up a child for adoption.” Though most agencies encourage the use of “place a child for adoption,” “give up a child for adoption” is still used because it’s one of the most commonly searched phrases by birth mothers who are going through an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption. Again, though, Adoption Choices of Florida — and most other adoption agencies — strongly urge the use of “place/placing a child for adoption,” especially in conversation, because “give up” can be detrimental to the mental and emotional health of both the birth mother and her child. “Give up” can make an adoptee feel like they were unloved or unwanted by their birth mother and a birth mother feel guilty, ashamed, or embarrassed about their unplanned pregnancy and adoption decision.      

A Little More on Positive Adoption Language!

Using “place/placing a child for adoption” rather than “give/giving up a child for adoption” is just one of many positive alternatives in the world of adoption and adoption language! Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of negative stigma attached to adoption — especially for birth mothers! 

Part of changing that stigma is changing current adoption language into language that is more positive. Educating people about positive adoption language isn’t by any means going to be an easy feat — so much of the adoption language we know has been rooted into our brains for many years. But by bringing attention to positive adoption language, why it’s important, and catching ourselves and others when we slip up, a more positive view of adoption is certainly on the horizon! 

If you are a pregnant woman in Florida considering adoption, and have any questions or concerns about the adoption process, please don’t hesitate to reach out. For more information on adoption, visit us at Adoption Choices of Florida or call us at: (833) 352-3678