Adoption Terms


Adoption Plan – All the details involved in placing a child for adoption – from choosing the adoptive family to the level of contact you would like to maintain after the adoption is final.

Adoption Triad – There are three parties involved in every adoption – the child, the birth parent(s) and the adoptive family. When a child is placed for adoption, a kinship network is formed that includes the extended family of everyone in the triad. As with any family, simply being part of the network e does not mean you are close to or communicate with every member of that network.

Birthmother – The woman who gives birth to the child being placed for adoption.

Birth plan – Details of the birthmother’s wishes for labor, delivery and the time following the birth.

Closed adoption – An adoption where there is no communication between the birth family and the adoptive family and child. Identifying information is not given to either party.

Kinship adoption – Where a member of the immediate or extended family of the child becomes the adoptive parent(s).

Home study – The process by which a potential adoptive family is screened and licensed.

Open Adoption – Where there is some degree of contact between the birth parent(s), adoptive family and child.

Post Placement Plan – The agreement reached between the birthparent(s) and the adoptive family regarding communication once the adoption is final.

Surrender – The official document signed by the birthparent(s) that transfers parental rights. This is the form that “finalizes” the adoption.

Temporary Care – Placement of the child with a licensed foster family for a short period, while an adoption plan is being considered.

Waiting Families – Potential adoptive families who have already been screened and licensed.