- Adoption decree – Legal order that finalizes the adoption to the adoptive parents
- Birthparents, Birthmother, and Birthfather – Refers to the people who biologically created the child. NOTE: There are also other terms that can be used to refer to a birthmother such as first mom or life mom. Birthmom just happens to be the one most commonly used. Also, you are not a birthmother until you sign relinquishment papers. Until that moment, you are simply an expectant mother considering adoption.
- Closed adoption – Birth parents do not meet the adoptive parents and no contact is maintained after the birth and placement of the child.
- Confidential Adoption - A more up-to-date term for closed adoption.
- Familial adoption – Adoptions in which the adoptive parents and birthparents are related in some way (Also known as kinship adoption, relative adoption, or interfamily adoption.)
- Home study – Assessment of the adoptive parents’ ability to provide a healthy and happy home. All adoptive parents must complete a home study before adopting. The home study includes background checks, doctors’ reports, financial information, etc.. and is conducted by a licensed social worker.
- Open adoption – Refers to adoptions where the birth parents and adoptive parents have met and have some level of ongoing contact with each other. Contact can include letters, pictures, visits, etc. NOTE: In most states, open adoptions are NOT legally enforceable.
- Openness Agreement – Document that states the intended amount of contact in an open adoption between the adoptive parents and the birthparents. NOTE: These are not legally enforceable.
- Relinquishment papers – A legal document that birth parents must sign terminating their parental rights. NOTE: The laws regarding when a parent can sign relinquishment papers vary in each state.
- Semi open adoption – Birthparents and adoptive parents may meet prior to the birth of the child, but typically do not know identifying information about each other. Contact can be maintained through a 3rd party.
- Triad – Term used to describe the 3 parties represented in adoptions: the birthparents, the adoptive parents, and the adopted child.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
As you are educating yourself on adoption you may run across terms that you are unfamiliar to you. Below is a list of some of those terms along with their definitions.