Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Not an issue yet, but...

I've just been reading Heather's post about the words and phrases we use. Both Nice Little Agency and Official Hague Person use the terms "birth mother" and "birth parents", though I may have spotted a couple of "expectant parents" thrown in the mix, and I don't recall them using "our" or "your".**

The OHP also got us to change a couple of "our child" to "a child" in our profile though it didn't seem very consistent, as in, I felt it was OK to say "we are looking forward to taking our child to the playground" though they didn't, except they didn't get us to change it every time, and obviously we would say "we would like to adopt a child", but there are grey areas and they seemed to pick up on some but not all of these.

We have not yet had our profile read through and edited by NLA themselves but they place shortened versions on their website. While we cannot control the words they use when talking to expectant parents, each letter starts "Dear birthparent". Most of the stories from adoptive parents say "our birthmother".

So... advice please... what should we do? We can obviously write our own profile and I don't think they are going to tell us "No! Say Birthmother!" but what about the bits they edit in? And what about the impression that the whole thing gives, though (erm) I suppose we might appear more aware if we are the only ones not saying "Dear birth parents" in our profile??!

**yes, they have Expectant Parents right on the front web page for the agency. Good.

1 comment:

Heather said...

For what it's worth, "Dear Birthmother" or "Dear Birthparent(s)" were the standard openings on profile letters at Agency #1. And although they forced other edits on our letter that frustrate me to this day and I wish I had fought, they let us start our letter with just "Hello," no questions asked.

After you're already working with an agency and feel good about it overall, I think the most you can do is stick with the language that's important to you personally and explain why it's important to you if/when it comes up. 'Birthmother' is still so ubiquitous at this point that it's quite difficult to find an agency that avoids it completely.