Adoption Terms & Terminology | Texas Adoption Center

Adoption Language 101

Adoption Language 101

Adoption language can be an unknown (and sometimes uncomfortable) terrority if you're not familiar with it. Luckily, we have created a list of terms and definitions to help clarify some of the terms you will hear frequently throughout your adoption journey!

Expectant Parent

The term “expectant parent” is used prior to the baby’s birth. Sometimes, there are two expectant parents, an expectant mom and an expectant dad.

Birth Parent

A birth parent is a parent who has placed a child for adoption. Before the baby is born, people sometimes use the term “expectant parent” or the term “birth parent” interchangeably. Birth parent, birth mother, and birth father are frequently used terms.

Prospective Adoptive Parent

An individual or family who wishes to adopt, but hasn’t finalized the adoption yet.

Adoptive Parent(s)

An individual or couple who has finalized the adoption. Sometimes, people use the term “adoptive parent” when talking about a prospective adoptive parent.

Place for Adoption

This is an important term that is used instead of “give up for adoption” or “give up the baby”. When a birth mother places her child for adoption, she has made a conscious decision for her child’s future. She hasn’t “given up”.

Adoption Plan

An adoption plan is the plan expectant parents put together for their unique and individual adoption. It involves many different elements—picking a family, getting support and emotional counseling from an Adoption Specialist, creating a plan for hospital time, the type of contact they will have with the prospective adoptive family, and more.

Match with a Family

A match occurs when the expectant parents select a family to adopt their child. A match can also occur if the Agency is asked to select a family on behalf of the expectant parent(s).

Texas Adoption Center is Here to Help

We invite you to contact us to learn more about the adoption process.  We look forward to helping you on your adoption journey!




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