The Adoption Campaign

I wrote about kindness yesterday. Which is helpful because posts like this need to come from a heart FULL of kindness and a desire to educate rather than rant.

The Holiday season ushers in many opportunities to help families and individuals in need. It’s a beautiful thing as many families are struggling rather than celebrating. However, organizations that aim to help these families, individuals and kids have chosen to use the word adoption in their campaigns. The word adoption has been made synonymous  with the word help, sponsor and support. While this seems harmless to the general population, we’ve somehow forgotten that the general population contains thousands upon thousands of adoptees.

I realize that there is no way to make everyone happy. And many who read this will think, “oh great, another PC term I have to remember.” But this is more than not being politically correct. It’s downright INCORRECT. Adoption doesn’t mean helping. Adoption is permanent. Adoption is creating a family. Adoption is hard. Adoption can be painful. Adoption is beautiful.

If you’re wondering how common the issue is, here are just a few organizations using this wording.

Schools in Sumner County- Salvation Army- Churches EVERYWHERE- City Team- Wal Mart- Boys and Girls Club of America

 I respect my children who entered our family via adoption. I respect their right to grieve, to ask questions, to be confused. I will walk with them through every step of every mess that comes our way. I will be their voice when they come home and ask if the 3-year old girl their class is “adopting” will live in their classroom. True story.

That is what happens when adoption is used incorrectly. A child who understands that adoption is forever is now being told that adoption can mean other things as well, like buying underwear for a child in need. Additionally, those kiddos we are sponsoring have PARENTS. Parents who love them enough to seek out assistance. Adoption does not pertain to these families.

Churches, organizations, schools and Friends: Please consider replacing the word Adoption in your Christmas campaigns. There are wonderful words such as help, sponsor, support and bless that will accurately express the program. Take a chance, rebrand, the results will be respectful and wonderful.


About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.


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