Please Don’t Say I “Rescued” My Child

Rescued just does not fit with adoption.

Meghan Rivard April 02, 2017
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I have heard many stories from families who have adopted that stated a stranger and even family members have asked them rude questions or made rude statements. Some of these statements focus around the idea of “how lucky your child is now,” “what would they have done without you,” and that “you rescued your child.”

Many people don’t have malicious intentions, but are just uneducated regarding adoption when they make these statements. To me, these statements are sending a wrong message about adoption.

I complete home studies for families through an adoption agency. During the family’s education, I hope they become aware of the stereotypes and word choices that the uneducated adoption society will say at one point or another to them.

This may be petty, but it rubs me wrong when people “adopt” an animal from an animal shelter. While I am a huge proponent for getting animals and pets from shelters (our dog is from a shelter), I don’t think it should be labeled “adopting”. I feel it should be labeled “rescued.” I do not think the same term should be used when you are adopting a child and rescuing an animal. I think that could be very confusing for a child who has been adopted and could even affect their views of their worth in the family. “Am I the same as the dog?” “Could mom and dad take me back like they could take our dog back to the shelter?”

Basically, it comes down to simple word choices. Again, I do not believe many people make rude comments intentionally. Our society is just very naive and has a very stereotypical view from media about adoption. So, I hope we can all word and educate friends and family we come across about appropriate adoption verbiage.

Have you ever been asked a question about adoption that you wished was worded differently? Did you let the person know how you felt?

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Meghan Rivard

Meghan is an adoptive mother and a big advocate of adoption and foster care. She resides in Indiana with her husband, their one-year-old daughter who is the center of their lives, and their dog Max. She has a Bachelor's and Master’s Degree in Social Work. Meghan stays at home with her daughter but is so happy she found this outlet to share her personal adoption story and educate about adoption!


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