15 Adoption Terms to Know

By Jaclyn Prasa

It can initially seem daunting if you are considering adoption in Colorado for your unplanned pregnancy. Where do you even start? Adoption Choices of Colorado is here to assist you throughout the entire adoption process and is readily available to help answer any questions that may arise. Stemming from its history, adoption has been associated with many untrue stigmas. Therefore, while starting the process, it is important to reframe your mindset by addressing the adoption process properly. Positive Adoption Language (PAL) is a way to verbally address adoption positively. Ultimately, when you choose a Colorado adoption, you are making a loving, positive choice for your child. Therefore, words and phrases associated with adoption should also be positive. Here are some positive terms to help you learn more about the process of adoption. 

If you need adoption help now, please call or text us at 303-670-4673 (HOPE) or visit us at Adoption Choices of Colorado.

Practicing PAL: 15 Adoption Terms to Know

1. Adoption

This is the legal process when there is a transfer of parental rights. Typically, and when dealing with private adoption, a birth parent will relinquish their parental rights allowing the adoptive parents custody of their child. It is when a person who is not the biological parent is legally granted custody and raises the child as their own. 

2. Adoptee

The adoptee is the person or child who is adopted. 

3. Adoption Triad

This refers to the major three involved in the adoption: birth parents, adoptive parents, and the adoptee. The triad can also be referred to as the “adoption triangle” or “adoption circle.” 

4. Birth Parent 

Either birth mother or birth father describes the child’s biological parents. The term “real” mother or “real” father is not correct PAL in terms of adoption. It gives the impression that the adoptive parents are “not real” parents if they are not related by blood. That is false. In the adoption process, adoptive parents take in the adoptee and raise them as their own. The adoptive parent loves, protects, and guides the child and takes on the role of parent.  

5. Adoption Plan

The adoption plan is part of the adoption process and is created by the birth parent, along with the advisement of a professional from the adoption agency. This is the birth parent’s decision to allow their child to be placed up for adoption. In doing so, they make a few decisions regarding what is best for their situation. Depending on the adoption agency, an adoption plan can vary based on resource assistance. Adoption Choices of Colorado can help birth parents with financial support, safe housing, medical care, and emotional support. Additionally, the birth parent will choose the type of adoption and, consequently, the adoptive family. 

6. Relinquishment

Adoption Choices of Colorado is a licensed private adoption agency where birth parents voluntarily relinquish or terminate their parental rights to release the child to the adoption agency in order for the adoptive family to gain legal custody. 


ICPC, also known as Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, is a legal agreement between all 50 States. It ensures that any child adopted in between states will be placed in a safe home.  

8. Open Adoption

This refers to the level of openness in an adoption. An open adoption allows birth parents to choose the adoptive family as well as keep in direct contact with them. This can allow for long-term contact between birth parents, adoptive parents, and child. This is a great option for birth parents who wish to remain connected to their child. 

9. Confidential or Closed Adoption 

Refers to adoption that is confidential by all means. The birth parents and adoptive parents’ information are not disclosed, except for medical history. There is no direct contact in this arrangement. The adoption agency is the middleman between the birth parent and the adoptive parent. 

10. Consent Form

A legal document that the birth parent signs of relinquishing parental rights. The birth parent signs this after a certain amount of hours, depending on the state, after giving birth to a child. 

11. Private Adoption Agency

Non-government, state-licensed, and privately funded agencies. Adoption Choices of Colorado is a private adoption agency. 

12. Home Study

An assessment of adoptive family to ensure a good fit for parenthood. This requires background checks, questions to discover moral character and history, as well as a psychosocial assessment. An in-depth evaluation involves several in-person meetings, and then the court will approve. 

13. Post-Placement Supervision

After the adoptee’s placement and before the finalization of the adoptive parent’s legal custody, this is the supervision made by a social worker who will track the progress of placement. 

14. Adoption Finalization

The finalization hearing is the legal process in which the court deems the adoptive parent’s permanent custody. 

15. Reunion

Meeting between birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents. 

Further Questions About the Adoption

Placing your baby up for adoption may be one of the hardest decisions you will make. By choosing adoption, you are ensuring that your baby is given more opportunities while being raised in a household that is ready to raise a child. Choosing adoption is a selfless and generous choice. Positive Adoption Language helps to care for each person involved in the adoption while also fighting outdated stigmatized ideas. 

There are several adoption agencies in Colorado to choose from. It is important to choose the right agency for you. Adoption Choices of Colorado has agencies in Denver and assists in Christian adoption agencies. Most importantly, Adoption Choices of Colorado will care for your unique situation and help support you throughout the entire adoption process. 

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.

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