“Giving Up Your Baby For Adoption ” Or ” You are Not Giving Up ” ?

We recently received an inquiry from an adoption professional that was offended by our use of the phrase ” give baby up for adoption”.  The following is their dialogue.


” As an adoption professional who has recently learned of your services, I wanted to contact you regarding the verbiage used on your website. Many members of the adoption triad bristle at the term “gave up a child” and it is considered outdated terminology in our field. I want to refer clients to your website, but I cannot do so with the terms used regarding making an adoption plan. Please take a moment to review the following links for more on this topic.
It is my hope that all birth moms are treated with respect and honor when making a plan and reassured the last thing they are doing is “giving up”. I know we can say those are just words, but words can be extremely important when discussing something as significant as adoption. ”

Below is Chosen Parents Adoptions response .

Thank you for reaching out  and sharing your opinion. I am  very familiar with the marketing term ” You are not giving up” . It  was a phrase that was coined by an adoption agency’s marketing department in order that  the expectant mother believe that she is doing something other than giving  her child up for adoption . We choose to tell expectant mothers the truth .
We do not believe in sugar coating the process of child placement with manipulative and subliminal  terminology . When a woman places a child for adoption she GIVES UP … Her legal rights to her child. She gives up the right to raise her child, visit her child , and speak to her child. She gives up physical custody of her child.
The link that you forwarded states that the definition of “giving up ” as
1. Cease making an effort; resign oneself to failure.
May I ask where you obtained that definition? It is not a definition that is used in any dictionary. Why ? Once again , because it was a marketing term that was made up by an adoption agency that profits from women that give their babies up for adoption.  We suppose to influence expectant mothers into believing that they are not losing  or giving anything up .
Webster’s Dictionary’s definition states that to give up is a verb and the meaning is “to yield control or possession of “.
Certainly a  very accurate description of the process of child placement , don’t you think ?
Because we are  aware of the reasoning behind , ” “You are not giving up..” we will continue the  oh-so-outdated verbiage which we feel adequately reflects to expectant mothers the gravity of their  decision  and will make sure that , through the attorneys that they are advised by , they understand fully what they are giving up.
Marcus W.

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