If you’re new to adoption, some of the terms used on this blog and elsewhere may be confusing. Here are some terms we use a lot on Sweet Little Nest.
Glossary of Adoption Terms
Legal procedure that transfers parental rights from birth parents to adoptive parents.
Person who receives parental rights and responsibilities for an adopted child.
Birth Parent(s), Birth Mother, Birth Father
Biological mother or father of a child who is adopted. Occasionally referred to as first mother/father, though not on Sweet Little Nest.
An adoption is which the birth records are sealed by the court and the confidentiality of both sets of parents is protected. Susan’s adoption in 1974 was closed, which was extremely common at that time. It is far more unusual today.
Refers to a failed adoption attempt or any adoption that does not reach completion. Though rare, disruptions occasionally occur after a birth family and an adoptive family have been matched when the birth mother (or father) changes her mind. Disruptions usually occur before the birth of the child, but sometime occur after birth.
The adoption home study is a detailed about a family compiled and prepared by a social worker. The home study requires the prospective adoptive family to supply documents and background checks, answer questions about their lives and personalities, and explore their reasons for adopting. During home visits and other interviews the social worker will learn more about the couple / family and make a decision about whether or not they are at a good place to adopt. The home study is a required part of the adoption process.