Christian Family Services

Understanding The Language Of Adoption

Let’s start by understanding each other.

We do not want the words we use complicating the process.  Here are some common words and phrases that we often use when discussing adoption:

Adoption – The legal process of the transfer of parental rights from one set of parents to another.

Adoptive Parents – A person who has been granted parental rights to raise and nurture as one’s own a child that was not biologically bor to them.

Biological Parent – The parent who gave birth to a child or genetically conceived a child (often referenced as Biological Mother or Biological Father)

Birth Parent – The same person as a Biological Parent.

Closed Adoption – An adoption in which there is little or no contact ever facilitated between birth parents and the adoptive family.

ConnectCare – our name for Foster Care.

Expectant Parent- Parent who is expecting a chil and is considering an adoption plan.

Final Surrender – see Termination of Parental Rights (TPR).

Foster Care – The process in which a child temporarily lives with and is cared for by a licensed (foster) family until that child can be returned to the care of his birth/legal parents or until that child’s legal and/or physical custody is transferred to another set of parents.

Loss – A feeling of emotional deprivation that is experienced at some point in time.  For a birth parent, the initial loss will usually be felt at or subsequent to the placement of the child.  Adoptive parents who are infertile feel a loss in their ability to bear a child.  And adopted child may feel a sense of loss at various points in time; the first time the child realizes he is adopted may invoke a strong sense of loss for his birth family.

Non-Identifying Information – General social or medical information about a person that does not include full or last name, address, employer, phone numbers, or other data which might be used to identify or locate the individual.

Putative Father – Legal term for the alleged or supposed father of a child.

Relinquishment – The term used in some states to signify the legal act (usually a signed document) of birth/legal parents to voluntarily cease or terminate their parental rights over a child.

Semi-Open Adoption – An adoption in which some contact is maintained between birth family and adoptive family, usually without the exchange of identifying information and often facilitated by an adoption agency or other third party.

Surrender – The same term as Relinquishment.

Termination of Parental Rights (TPR) – The legal determination that parental rights, custody, care and control shall be revoked or removed (may be enacted voluntarily by birth/legal parents or may be done involuntarily based upon governing law and individual circumstances).

Contact Us

Missouri: (314)-968-2216
Illinois: (618) 397-7678
Fax: (314) 968-2335

7955 Big Bend Blvd
Webster Groves, MO 63119

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