Why I Hate the Phrase ‘Put Up a Child for Adoption’

The words “put up" or "give up” can detract from the meaning of adoption, which is all about love.

Meghan Xavier May 20, 2015
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One of the world’s earliest adoption stories comes from the Bible, and it begins with a birth mother.

Jochebed, wanting to protect her baby from murder at the hands of the Pharaoh, lovingly placed her son Moses in a basket on the river, sending him to a new life. She made sure that his journey was a safe one, asking  her daughter Miriam follow the basket until it was found. Jochebed’s decision is the perfect example of a birth mother’s love for her child. Her example sets straight the misconception that birth parents don’t love their children. It wasn’t that Jachebed didn’t love her child; in fact, it was her love for Moses that prompted her to send him to another family.

Placing a child for adoption is incredibly difficult and painful. So when someone says to you that “you gave up your child” or “put up your child,” it makes this completely selfless act sound like you gave your child to just anyone, which is completely false. I placed my child into the loving arms of a family that would love her and care for her as I would have done.

The words “put up” or “give up” can detract from the meaning of adoption, which is all about love. People who don’t know what it is like to go through the adoption process might think that the birth parents just gave up, or they couldn’t handle a baby. This is simply not true. Birth moms very carefully hand pick the family they want for their babies. Those words don’t give any thought to how difficult it actually is to place a baby for adoption.

The words “put up” or “give up” hold connotations that can imply that you are selling your baby. The concept of selling a child is beyond barbaric in our modern society, so to imply this by using the wrong terminology can be hurtful at best.

Every parent puts the needs of her children above her own, and birth parents are no different. I love my birth daughter very much and I can’t imagine not putting her needs above my own. After I found out I was pregnant, I felt very strongly that this innocent child deserved a great life. The only way for her to have what she needed was for me to place her for adoption. Yes, it was hard. But I did it because I loved her. I accepted the pain of the sacrifice so that she could have something better.

So do you see that when people use phrases such as “gave up” or “put up,” it undercuts the love and sacrifice of every birth mother? Children who are placed for adoption are loved and are never given up. They remain forever in our hearts as well as in the hearts of their adoptive parents.

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Meghan Xavier

Meghan Xavier is a birth mom of two years, and she wants to help other birth moms have an idea of what their journey will be like. Meghan is in the process of figuring out what she wants to do with her life. She is currently in school and hopes to graduate with her Associate's degree by 2017. Meghan is a lover of animals: her true loves are horses and dogs. She hopes to own a horse farm in the future. Some of Meghan's hobbies include golfing, fishing, horseback riding, and reading. Meghan loves the cold and, ironically, loves the beach. Meghan's family is everything to her - nothing is more important.


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