March 31, 2023

Positive Adoption Language for Embryo Adoption

Snowflakes babies cuddling on the couchIn previous blog posts, we described “positive adoption language,” which refers to the careful use of language when speaking about adoption.

We recommend careful consideration to the terms used when speaking about embryo adoption.  Embryos are human beings, and they deserve to be spoken of with reverence.

Below we list several terms and a suggested alternate:

RecommendedNot recommended
Placing parentsDonor parents or genetic parents
Embryos or frozen embryos or remaining embryosLeftover or spare embryos
Babies are born from embryos of all qualitiesBad embryos
Embryo adoptionEmbryo donation
Giving embryos an opportunity at life outside of the freezerChance at life, saving embryos, rescue embryos

Here are further examples for positive language in the world of adoption.

Positive LanguageNegative Language
BirthparentReal parent
Biological parentNatural parent
Birth childOwn child
My childAdopted child
Terminate parental rightsGive up
Make an adoption planGive away
To parent To keep
Was adoptedIs adopted


Below are two other blog posts on this subject:

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