The Word “Adoption”


November 2nd, 2007

We have a couple of back issues of an adoption magazine (which in all honesty are a lot like most parenting magazines – the first couple issues are interesting but then you realize they are just printing articles about the same topics over and over). Anyway, one of the issues talked about the word adoption and how frequently we use it when not referring to the adoption of a child.

It’s used in such contexts as adopt a highway, adopt a pet, adopt an animal from the zoo, adopt a policy, etc.

I haven’t decided how I feel about people being able to “adopt” all these things that aren’t children but there are some people who feel very strongly that the word adoption should be reserved exclusively for talking about children.

They don’t like adopting pets becuase of how quick and easy it is to go to the humane society compared to how long and sometimes difficult the adoption process is. They don’t like the adopt a highway, because it’s not even a living thing – it’s just that – a highway. And the adopt an animal from the zoo bothers them because it confuses adopted kids. If you adopt a kid you bring them home. You take care of them. You love them. They are yours forever. If you adopt a zoo animal you send a check every month. Why don’t you get to bring them home? How come you don’t even get to pet them?

Personally, I don’t think the issue is as wide-spread as the magazine makes it out to be, but it is just one more thing for us as parents to keep in the back of our minds. One more thing that our children may be more sensitive to than the kids in their class.


One Response to “The Word “Adoption””

  1. Kevin on November 2, 2007 11:39 am

    It’s interesting how adoption comes up in the media. Nobody thinks twice about the examples you give, or how it appears in movies and television. I know one of the adoption magazines gave a bad review to the Blades of Glory movie because Jon Heder’s character was adopted to be world famous figure skater and then his adopted father disowned him when Jon’s character was banned for life.

    To me it struck me as an outlandish attempt at comedy (which is most of what that movie is), but I didn’t find it offense. It would have been just as absurd if the father was the biological father and disowned his son when he failed.

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