In an interview with InStyle, Sandra Bullock discussed her strong dislike of the term “my adopted child.” Bullock, an adoptive mother of two, spoke about the term, saying it creates an undue distinction that rhetorically can make adopted kids seem like secondary members of a family.
“Let’s all just refer to these kids as ‘our kids,’” Bullock said. “Don’t say ‘my adopted child.’ No one calls their kid their ‘IVF child’ or their ‘oh, shit, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child.’ Let just say, ‘our children.’”
Bullock has been a longtime advocate for adoption, electing to adopt her first child in 2010 after she split with then-husband Jessie James. During her interview with InStyle, the actress noted how she felt it was ridiculous for politicians— or anyone for that matter— to “talk to me about what I can or can’t do with my body,” before they’ve “taken care of every child who doesn’t have a home or is neglected or abused.”
While adoption experts haven’t outright said to not call your child adopted (many support the idea that a child’s adoption should be a relatively transparent subject inside of a family), they have supported the ethos behind what Bullock is saying. According to FamilyLives.org, a UK based organization that aims to improve the relationships between parents and their children, a really important part of talking to a child about the fact that they’re adopted, is reinforcing the fact that they’re a loved and inarguably essential part of their family while also not harping on the difficult nature of their birth or constantly reminding them that they were given up by their parents.
So yes, constantly saying “my adopted child,” could easily be perceived as ostracizing your child, but it’s also a truth that families have to navigate delicately for the sake of being honest and raising kids who can adequately cope with the fact that they’re adopted.