The Reno Adoption Glossary: A Birth Mother’s Guide to Adoption Terms and Phrases 

By Jordan Smith

If you are a birth mother or a pregnant woman and considering adoption, it is helpful to know all of the terms used throughout the adoption process. We at Adoption Choices of Nevada in Reno want you to be fully prepared when beginning your adoption plan. So we have prepared the Reno adoption glossary to guide birth mothers like you thorough their adoption journey.


An adopted child is a child that has been placed for adoption and is in his/her adoptive home. Adopted children are not biologically related to their adoptive parents, but they still legally have the necessary rights and responsibilities to care for the child. 


Adoption is something that each individual has their own opinion on, but it is certainly not “giving up or giving up a child for adoption.” The reason there is adoption is strictly for the safe and loving placement of babies to ensure they have a safe life. Only the birth mother can determine the decision of her baby, and it’s best to know that she is making the right choice. 

Adoption Plan

If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and have decided that adoption is best for you, contact Adoption Choices of Nevada in Reno, and you can receive guidance from an adoption counselor. Our agency is a no-pressure adoption agency, and you are in complete control of the adoption plan that best suits you. Your adoption plan fully covers the adoption process, and it can also include post-placement support and counseling. 

Adoptive Parents

These are the people that the baby will be going home with. Adoptive mother and adoptive father are also used in this same context for when a specific individual is being spoken of or to. 

Adoption Process

As you begin your journey with us at Adoption Choices of Nevada, you completely control the adoption process. There will be no coercion or anyone forcing you to choose adoption, and you can make an adoption plan that is comfortable for you. To begin your adoption process, you must contact Adoption Choices of Nevada in Reno, then you will be assigned your own adoption counselor, and lastly, work on your adoption plan

Adoption Resources

Adoption resources are a number of different things that Adoption Choices of Nevada offers to the birth mother. Your counselor is there for you to communicate with on your needs and help get those needs met with any specific resource we have. 

Adoption Support

Adoption support is one of the important aspects that we offer here at Adoption Choices of Nevada. During such a vulnerable time, birth mothers will need support throughout the adoption process. If you have family or immediate friends that can also be there for you, it is a positive benefit for you to have that support system. In addition, your counselor will be here for you during and after your pregnancy for guidance and support. 

Birth Mother

The term birth mother is used for the biological mother. It is used because you are the baby’s birth mother, and terminology such as this is a positive influence upon working with you.

Birth Father

The term birth father is for the baby’s biological father, the same as the birth mother. Therefore, you are the baby’s biological father. These terms are also used positively. 

Closed Adoption

Adoption Choices of Nevada offers what’s called a Closed Adoption, and this agreement has more of a stricter plan that is set in place. If the birth mother wants a closed adoption, there will be no communication between both parties involved and no sharing of full names. This would be the option if you want full closure, and there is more privacy with a closed adoption as well. 

Foster Child

This term is used for any children that were taken out of their homes due to neglect, abuse, etc., and placed in foster care. Foster care is typically either a foster family, at which time the child would remain with until adopted. Or a group home for children, and the child would remain there until he/she gains an adoptive family. 

Foster Parent

A foster parent is someone who has taken temporary responsibility for a foster child. Foster parents are licensed through the state or an agency and help many children with an immediate safe place to stay. 

Home Study

A home study investigates what Adoption Choices of Nevada will do for future adoption families. We want to guarantee your baby’s placement is in a safe and loving home. The home study is more of the adoptive family’s cooperation in the adoption process.

Housing Help

Having a safe place to live is crucial during your pregnancy, and we also provide help with this. Adoption Choices of Nevada helps to find reasonable housing for you and will help you budget and manage your monthly rent. 

Medical Expenses

Adoption Choices of Nevada offers many different resources to their birth mothers, one being medical expenses. During your time with us, we want to make sure that you and the baby are being fully cared for medically. 

Open Adoption

An open adoption here at Adoption Choices of Nevada means that the birth mother can have a variety of visitation and communication after the baby’s placement with the adoptive parents. The open adoption agreement is created at the beginning of the adoption plan, and a couple of examples of the communication offered post-adoption are; exchanging letters and pictures directly, occasional visitations between both families, and staying connected through social media outlets.

Pregnancy Expenses

Everyday life during pregnancy can be strenuous, but your counselor at Adoption Choices of Nevada can help you with funds for specific things you may need. For example, if you need gas or maybe help with an electric bill, these are things that we offer some assistance with. 

Semi-Open Adoption

If you think the closed adoption is too strict and the open adoption makes you too nervous, then Adoption Choices of Nevada in Reno offers what’s called the Semi-Open Adoption agreement. This agreement is so the birth parents and adoptive parents can communicate in a mediatory way, typically through the adoption agency. 


With how important your medical visits are during this time, we can assist with transportation. It is specific visits that we assist rides with, such as Doctors, Medicaid, groceries, etc. And if any of our birth mothers take an Uber to our offices, we will cover the payment. 

Adoption Choices of Nevada in Reno offers many resources to its birth mothers, and we think it is important that you learn some of the definitions of the terms used at our agencies. Every family’s adoption experience is different. Whether it be a closed adoption, a semi-open, or an open adoption, each case is unique. The use of these different terms will be easy for you to pick up along your journey with us.

Adoption Choices of Nevada has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now. Contact Us 24/7: 855-940-4673 (Toll-Free) | 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas) | 775-825-4673 (Reno).