The following acronyms are related to adoption, foster care, infertility, pregnancy, and children’s disabilities, along with acronyms you will find regularly on Internet message boards and chat rooms. Please contact us to suggest additions or modifications to this list.

AAAA American Academy of Adoption Attorneys
AAC American Adoption Congress
AACAP American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
AACWA Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act
AAOAA American Association of Open Adoption Agencies
AAP American Academy of Pediatrics
AASK Adopt a Special Kid
ACAL Association of California Adoption Lawyers
ACR Administrative Case Review/Revision Administrative de Cases
ACS Alberta Children’s Services (Canada)
ACSW Alberta College of Social Workers (Canada)
ACYF Administration for Children, Youth, and Families
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act
ADD Attention Deficit Disorder
ADHD Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
AFA Adoptive Families of America
AFCARS Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System
AFDC Aid to Families with Dependent Children
AFDC-FC Aid to Families with Dependent Children in Foster Care
AFK Away from Keyboard
AIM Access for Infants and Mothers Program
AISH Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (Canada)
ALMA Adoptee Liberty Movement Association
AMA American Medical Association
AMI Alliance for the Mentally Ill
ANCRA Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act
AP Attachment Parenting
APA American Psychiatric Association
APC Adoptive Parents Committee
APHA American Public Health Association
APRI American Prosecutors Research Institute
APSAC American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children
APT Agency Placement Team
ARM Alberta Response Model (Canada)
ART Assisted Reproductive Technology
ASFA Adoption and Safe Families Act
ASPA American Psychoanalytical Association
BB or BBS (Internet) Bulletin Board or Bulletin Board System
BBC Baby Center
BBL Be Back Later
BBT Basal Body Temperature
BC Because/Birth Control/Before Children
BCIS Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services
BCPs Birth Control Pills
BD Behaviorally Disturbed
BF Boyfriend
BFN Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test)
BFP Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test)
BM Breast Milk or Bowel Movement (depending on context)
BMOM Birth mom
BN Birth Name, Bastard Nation
BOCYF Board on Children, Youth, and Families
BRB Be Right Back
BTDT Been There, Done That
BTW By the Way
C&A/LAN Child and Adolescent Local Area Network
CA/N Child Abuse and Neglect
CAC Child Advocacy Centers
CALWORKS California Work Opportunity & Responsibility to Kids (1997)
CANTS Child Abuse and Neglect Tracking System
CAPD Center for Assessment & Policy Development
CAPTA Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (1974)
CARE Coalition for Adoption Registry Ethics
CASA Court Appointed Special Advocate
CASSP Child and Adolescent Services System Program
CAU Case Assignment Unit
CAVITH Communities Against Violence in the Home
CCAA China Center for Adoption Affairs
CCAI Chinese Children Adoption International
CCBYS Comprehensive Community-Based Youth Services
CD Cycle Day
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
CD-CP Child Development – Community Policing Program
CDF Children’s Defense Fund
CDI Child Development Institute
CDSS Canadian Down Syndrome Society (Canada)
CEC Council for Exceptional Children
CECP Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice
CERA Council for Equal Rights in Adoption
CERAP Child Endangerment and Risk Assessment
CEVI Children’s Exposure to Violence Initiative (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
CF Cervical Fluid
CFPC Child and Family Policy Center
CFS Children and Family Services
CFSA Child and Family Services Authority (Canada)
CFSR Child and Family Services Review
CHAMPUS Civilian Health and Medical Program for the Uniformed Services
CHDP Child Health and Disability Prevention
CHID Combined Health Information Database
CHIPP Childhood Injury Prevention Program
CHP Community Health and Prevention
CIO Cry It Out
Circ. Circumcise
CJCJ Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
CM Cervical Mucus
CMHC Center for Medical Health Center
CMHS Center for Medical Health Services
COBRA Consolidated Omnibus Budget and Reconciliation Act
CPC Crisis Pregnancy Center
CPI Child Protection Investigator
CPS Child Protective Services
CPSV Center for the Prevention of School Violence
CRA Case Review Administrator
CS or C/S Cesarean Section
CSAP Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
CSN Children’s Safety Network
CSP Client Service Plan
CSS Catholic Social Services (Canada)
CSSP Center for the Study of Social Policy
CSW Children’s Social Worker
CSWF Clinical Social Work Federation
CUB Concerned United Birth parents
CWA Child Welfare Act (Canada)
CWAC Child Welfare Advisory Committee
CWDA County Welfare Directors Association
CWF Center for Women and Families
CWI Child Welfare Institute
CWIG Child Welfare Information Gateway
CWIM See What I Mean
CWIS Child Welfare Information System (Canada)
CWLA Child Welfare League of America
CWRC Child Welfare Research Center at the University of California at Berkley
CWS Child Welfare Systems
CWSI Child Welfare Services Initiative
CYCIS Child and Youth Centered Information System
CYFC Children, Youth, and Family Consortium
DC Day Care
DCFS Department of Children and Family Services
DCP Division of Child Protection
DD Developmentally Disabled
DET Detention Facility/Jail
DF Dear Fiancee
DH, DW, DD, DS Dear or Darling Husband, Wife, Daughter, Son
DHHS Federal Department of Health and Human Services
DI, DIUI Donor Intrauterine Insemination
DMH-DD Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities
DOC Department of Corrections
DOJ Department of Justice
DOR Date of Referral
DOT Date of Travel
DPA Department of Public Aids
DPO Days Past Ovulation
DPP Division of Policy and Plans
DRA Delegated Relative Authority
DRG Diagnosis Related Group
DSD Dear Step Daughter
DSM IV R Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
DSS Dear Step Son
DTC Dossier to China
DV/CPS Domestic Violence/Child Protective Services
DVIRC Domestic Violence & Incest Resource Center
DYCS Division of Youth and Community Services
EBD Emotionally or Behaviorally Disturbed
EBF Extended Breastfeeding
EBM Expressed Breast Milk
ECCE Elementary and Early Childhood Education
ECD Early Childhood Development (Canada)
ECI Early Childhood Institute
EDD Estimated Due Date/Expected Date of Delivery
EHA The Education for all Handicapped Children Act
EMRC Emergency Medical Resources for Children
EPSDT Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment
ERIC Educational Resources Information Center
EWCM Egg White Cervical Mucus
FAFW Family Assessment Factor Worksheet
FAIR Families Adopting in Response
FASD Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (Canada)
FCI Foster Care Initiative
FDP Family Development Plan
FDS Family Development Specialist
FF Formula Feeding
FFA Foster Family Agency
FFCMH Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
FHA Foster Home Adoptive
FHB Foster Home Boarding
FHI Foster Home Indian – licensed specified or approved by an Indian child’s tribe
FHP Foster Home Boarding-Private Agency
FHS Foster Home Specialized
FOC Future of Children
FOIPF Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (Canada)
FPA Foster Parent Association
FSL Family School Liaison (Canada)
FT Full Time
FTR For the Record
FWIW For What It’s Worth
FYI For Your Information
GAL Guardian Ad Litem
GYSI Governor’s Youth Service Initiative
HHS Department of Health and Human Services
HIPAA Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996
HMO Health Maintenance Organization
HMR Home of Relative
HOT Heart of Triad
HP Health Passport
HPT Home Pregnancy Test
HTH Hope That/This Helps
IC Incompetent Cervix
ICAR Inter-Country Adoption Registry
ICF Intermediate Care Facility
ICRMR Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded
ICWA Indian Child Welfare Act
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
IEAP Inter-Ethnic Adoption Provisions (Small Business Protection Act)
IEP Individualized Education Plan
IFSP Individual Family Services Plan
IGH Institutions and Group Homes
IMD Institution for Mental Disease
IME In My Experience
IMHO In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO In My Opinion
INS Immigration and Naturalization Service
IOW In Other Words
IRL In Real Life
ISC Independent Search Consultants
ISPV Institute for the Study and Prevention of Violence
ISRR International Soundex Reunion Registry
ISTSS International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
IUI Intrauterine Insemination
IVF In Vitro Fertilization
J/K Just Kidding
JCA Juvenile Court Act
JCICS Joint Council on International Children’s Services
JFCS Jewish Family and Children’s Services
JJ or J/J Just Joking
JMHO Just My Humble/Honest Opinion
JSO Juvenile Sex Offender
KWIM Know What I Mean?
KWYM (I) Know What You Mean
L&D Labor and Delivery
LAP Laparoscopic Surgery
LMAO Laughing My (Rear) Off
LMK Let Me Know
LOL Laughing Out Loud
LP Luteal Phase
MANG Medical Assistance, No Grant
MAPS Main Adoption Placement Services
MARE Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange
MARN Minnesota Adoption Resource Network
MC or M/C Miscarriage
MCH Maternal and Child Health Program
Medi-Cal California’s Medical Assistance Program
MEPA Multi-Ethnic Placement Act
MIL, FIL, DIL, SIL Mother/Father/Daughter/Son or Sister-In-Law
ML Maternity Leave
MM Mother’s Milk
MR Mental Retardation
MRAI Minors Requiring Authoritative Intervention
MYOB Mind Your Own Business
NACA National Association of Child Advocates
NACAC North American Council on Adoptable Children
NACC National Association of Council for Children
NAMI-CAN National Alliance for the Mentally Ill Children and Adolescents Network
NASAP National Association of Sexual Abuse Professionals
NASDSE National Association of State Directors of Special Education
NASMHPD National Association of State Mental Health Program Director
NASP National Association of School Psychologists
NASW National Association of Social Workers
National CASA National Court Appointed Special Advocates
NCA National Children’s Alliance
NCAC National Children’s Advocacy Center
NCADV National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
NCALP National Center for Adoption Law and Policy
NCCC National Center for Cultural Competence
NCCEV National Center for Children Exposed to Violence
NCCIC National Child Care Information Center
NCCUSL National Commission for Creation of Uniform State Laws
NCEMCH National Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health
NCFA National Council for Adoption
NCFY National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth
NCJFCJ National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
NCJJ National Center for Juvenile Justice
NCMEC National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
NCPC National Crime Prevention Council
NCPTSD National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
NCTSN National Child Traumatic Stress Network
NCVC National Center for Victims of Crime
NECTAS National Early Childhood Technical Assistance System
NICCYD National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
NICCYH National Information Center for Children and Youth with Handicaps
NICHD The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
NIDRR National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation
NIMH National Institute of Mental Health
NLM National Library of Medicine
NMCHC National Maternal and Child Health Clearinghouse
NMHA National Mental Health Association
NMS Not My Style
NMSAA Not My Style At All
NOVA National Organization for Victim Assistance
NP No Problem
NRCCM National Resource Center on Child Maltreatment
NRCFCP National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice
O Ovulation
OCD Office of Child Development
O’d Ovulated
OHT One Hand Typing
OJJDP Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
OMG Oh My Gosh
OPK Ovulation Predictor Kit
OT Off Topic
OTOH On the Other Hand
PAP Prospective Adoptive Parent
PAS Post Adoption Support (Canada)
PChIP Protection of Children Involved in Prostitution (Canada)
PCOS Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome
Pg or PG Pregnant/Pregnancy
PGO Permanent Guardianship Order (Canada)
PL 99-457 Education of All Children Handicapped Act/Amendments of 1986
PL 101-639 Mental Health Amendments of 1990 to PL 99-660
PL 102-321 Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Reorganization Act
PL 104-235 Public Law 104-235 extended 1974 CAPTA
PL 105-89 Public Law 105-89: Federal Adoption and Safe Families Act (1997)
PL 96-272 Public Law 96-272: Federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act (1980)
PL 99-660 State Comprehensive Mental Health Services Plan Act of 1986
PPD Postpartum Depression
PRA Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act
R & T Research and Training Centers (on Children’s Mental Health)
RCD Resources for Children with Disabilities (formerly Handicapped Children’s Services , HCS) (Canada)
RE Reproductive Endocrinologist
ROFL Rolling on the Floor Laughing
ROFLMAO Rolling on the Floor Laughing My (Rear) Off
RRC Regional Resource Centers (Special Education)
RTC Residential Treatment Center
RYSC Regional Youth Services Council
SACWIS Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System
SACY Sexually Aggressive Children and Youth
SAHD Stay-at-Home Dad
SAHM Stay-at-Home Mom
SAHP Stay-at-Home Parent
SAMHSA Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
SAPID School Age Parenting and Infant Development
SARS Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
SD Sperm Donor
SED Severely Emotionally Disturbed
SEI Substance Exposed Infants
SFC Specialized Foster Care
SFI Supports for Independence (Canada)
SG Subsidized Guardianship
SHIP Student Health Initiative Program (Canada)
SMHA State Mental Health Agency
SMHRCY State Mental Health Representatives for Children and Youth
SN Special Needs
SO Significant Other
SSDI Social Security Disability Insurance
SSI Supplemental Security Income
SW Social Worker
SWAN State-Wide Adoption Network (Pennsylvania)
TANF Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
TARE Texas Adoption Resource Exchange
TGO Temporary Guardianship Order (Canada)
TIA Thanks in Advance
TIC Tongue in Cheek
Title IV Child Welfare Act Section of the Social Security Act
Title IV-A Aid to Families with Dependent Children (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title IV-B Child Welfare Services Program (Section of the Social Security Act
Title IV-D Child Support Enforcement Program (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance Programs (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title V Maternal and Child Health (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title X Federal Family Planning Program (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XIX Medicaid (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XVIII Medicare (Section of the Social Security Act)
Title XX/SSBG Social Security Block Grant (Section of the Social Security Act)
TPR Termination of Parental Rights
TTC Trying to Conceive
TTYL Talk to You Later
U/s Ultrasound
UAA Uniform Adoption Act
US or U/S Ultrasound
VAWO Violence Against Women and Family Violence
VBAC Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section
VPC Violence Policy Center
VTA View to Adopt (Canada)
WACAP World Association for Children and Parents
WAHM Work-at-Home Mom
WHO Work Out of Home
WIC (Special supplemental food program for) Women, Infants, and Children

Please Note: This Adoption Media site is designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for personal legal or medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or personal applicability of the information on this site. 



Do you feel there is a hole in your heart that can only be filled by a child? We’ve helped complete 32,000+ adoptions. We would love to help you through your adoption journey. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98. Are you considering placing a child for adoption? Not sure what to do next? First, know that you are not alone. Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to speak to one of our Options Counselors to get compassionate, nonjudgmental support. We are here to assist you in any way we can.