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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on adoption.


"Adopt an animal"

13 replies

Kewcumber · 04/12/2008 12:05

Went to Battersea park Childrens zoo a few weeks ago and the whole place was plastered with posters urging people to "Adopt a Lemur, "Adopt an Otter" "Adopt a Meerkat" etc

I was surprised at how I winced when I read it. DS obviously too young to read so no problems but I suddenly thought how it devalues a true adoption. I hated the thought that he might one day be faced with the comparison of how our family was born with spnsoring a bleedin' meerkat.

Whats wrong with the word "sponsor"?

Am I being over sensitive?

OP posts:
readysalted · 04/12/2008 13:42

no it makes me cringe

KristinaM · 04/12/2008 14:24

i agree

Kewcumber · 04/12/2008 14:54

I was very tempted to write to them pointing it out asking if they would change their wording to "sponsor" - would that be overkill - am I going to get myself a name as an adoption warrior locally?!

OP posts:
MadreInglese · 04/12/2008 14:58

It's the wrong term though really, isn't it? Adopting means more "taking home and caring for" (in simple terms of course) than "sending money regularly to"

I remember visiting a zoo with DD and she thought she could "adopt" a baby elephant and take it home!

RebeccaX · 05/12/2008 15:56

You're not being sensitive, Kew. Our church was going to run an Adopt-a-Granny scheme to encourage families to befriend elderly people. I objected to them using the word adopt.

I hate zoos - can't stand to see animals in captivity

bran · 05/12/2008 16:07

I can't get all that worked up about it TBH. Like a lot of words in English it has several meanings and many more nuances. If DS ever asks me about it I will explain why the meaning of adoption is different when talking about human children than other things (animals/grannies/good habits). I'm much to lazy to attempt to change a whole language.

I'd rather concentrate on correcting peoples erroneous and sometimes bizarre assumptions about the nature of adoption and adopted children than correcting the language of people who are probably not intending to draw any sort of parallel between what they are trying to do and adopting children.

I've disagreed with Kew. I never thought I'd see the day. I'm almost certainly in the wrong as I've never, ever known Kewcumber to be wrong. (I'm discounting the "umbrella company" obviously. )

Kewcumber · 05/12/2008 21:35


you're allowed one aberration.

I was surprised about how strngly I reacted to it as a bit like you I don't get too worked up about adoption language provided people aren't being deliberately offensive or wilfully stupid.

It ws just everywhere though - you really couldn't walk more than 10 yds wihtout being urged to "adopt" another bleedin furry crittur.

Bet the homestudy isn't as onerous though.

OP posts:
Janni · 05/12/2008 21:52

I totally understand why it bothers you and I've not really thought hard about it before. I think they use the term because they want people to feel a real connection with the animal, want to feel that it's 'theirs', rather than that they are just handing over a bit of cash so I don't think you'd get them to change it without a fight.

We also use the word 'adopt' all over the place, don't we? Adopt a position, adopt a tone of voice, adopt a resolution....

We need a new word!!

bran · 05/12/2008 21:56

How do you panda-proof a 5th floor flat well enough to satisfy a social worker?

If you think about it the word adopt must have been in use before adoption became a proper legal concept, so it's a bit unfair of people connected with adoption to claim sole use of the word now. You don't hear birth parents complaining that describing the Big Bang as the birth of the universe devalues the birth of their children.

Kewcumber · 05/12/2008 23:35

surely Bag Bang devlaues the conception of their children?

OP posts:
beemail · 06/12/2008 10:30

No I don't think you are being over sensitiv e at all! Our primary school adopted a donkey! I just couldn't ignore this and went to see the head to explain that we felt this undermined our children's status within our family and for some children it could be quite unsettling - how can you adopt something which isn't with you etc etc Others complained because their children had been quite reasonably expecting the donkey to come and live at the schooland were diappointed to find this would not be the case. Some said their children were quite concerned at this prospect. So as you can imagine with all these concerns the agreement was to use the word "sponsor"
FWIW I just don't think the school had any idea of the reaction it would cause. I did write to one of the charities and received a reply apologising (patronisingly) but saying they would consider this issue and they do now use the word sponsor - so sometimes a bit of crusading doesn't go amiss - go for it girl!

bran · 06/12/2008 20:38

LOL at Big Bang.

Perhaps we should invent a new phrase for adoption that isn't in popular parlance. I'm not very good at social worker speak so perhaps you guys have some ideas.

Janni · 06/12/2008 22:06

Yes, don't leave it to the social workers - they came up with 'looked-after children' instead of 'foster children', which suggests that all those not in local authority care are not 'looked-after'

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