abc’s (glossary)


abandonment – the act of giving something up, to withdraw support or responsibility.

adoptee – any person that has been adopted.

adoption – the legal process of taking the responsibility of raising a child that is not your own.

adoption agency – an organization authorized by the government to perform functions related to adoption.

adoption consent – a document that offers the adoptive parents the right to adopt a child, given by the birth parent signing “consent”.

adoption order – the legal or formal transfer to change a child’s parents.

adoptive parent – a person who adopts a child and becomes the parent or guardian.

adoption records – all documents that pertain to the adoption (some records are open to all parties involved, once the child has reached a legal age)

adoption reunion – the meeting of birth relatives after a separation or adoption, usually following an adoption search.

adoption search – the process in which birth family members seek and discover an adopted person of any age.

adoption triangle – the connection between birth parents, biological parents and birth child.

attachment – the formation in a child of stable emotional connection with significant people in it’s life. The failure to form these bonds before age 5 can cause deep rooted social and interaction issues.

birth parent – the biological parent, either mother or father of a child (related by blood)

birth family – a biological family member related to a child (i.e. birth sister, grandmother etc.)

Children’s Aid Society – a private charitable organization that looks over the well-being of children including adoption, child abuse and other welfare related issues.

closed adoption – an adoption in which all identifying information remains a secret or closed.

crown ward – a Canadian term for a child that is being taken care of by the government.

foster care – a system where a stand in parent cares for a child when the parent is not able to.

Hague Convention – the governing body that looks over all aspects of human rights, including child rights issues.

identifying information – information pertaining to the child or birth family that can identify them by name or relation versus non identifying information such as age, colour of hair and various other demographic aspects.

international adoption – the process of adopting a child from out of country.

kinship – a relation to a birth child, sometimes resulting in an adoption (i.e. grandparents adopting a grandchild)

open adoption – an adoption in which all identifying information becomes known and often meet and maintain a relationship throughout the child’s life.

permanency – the act in which the parent becomes the permanent guardian of a child

placement – the process in which the child is placed with a family before the adoption is legally complete.

private adoption – an adoption funded by a private agency usually resulting in a quicker but more expensive adoption.

private adoption agency – is a non government funded agency, though still regulated, that has to meet all requirements of the government but acts on their own direction.

public adoption – an adoption through the governing body of a country, territory, state or province.

public adoption agency – an adoption agency that is regulated by the government.

respite care – short term or temporary care of a child before a permanent solution can be implemented.

step adoption – the process of adoption a partner’s child.

trans racial adoption – an adoption of someone with a different racial / cultural background to yourself.

anger & stress

aggression – a behaviour aimed at causing harm or pain.

anger – a strong emotion directed towards some form of grievance.

anger management – a strategy designed to constructively control or eliminate anger and aggression.

meditation – a self directed practice for relaxing the mind and body, thus relieving stress, anger and rage.

mood – a state of feeling or emotion.

rage – an intense uncontrollable anger or passion.

stress – a physical, mental or emotional factor that causes tension.

stress management – a strategy designed to constructively control or eliminate stress.

trigger – an object or situation that causes a phobia, fear or anger to appear.

child abuse

acting out – impulsive or uncontrollable outburst, usually by a victim as a form of defense.

child abuse – physical, mental, emotional and sexual mistreatment or neglect & violence towards  a child.

defense mechanism – an unconscious process to try and eliminate or reduce an unwanted feeling of fear, stress or anxiety.

discipline – a serious of steps taking to correct an action, often in the form of verbal or physical control.

sexual abuse – the forcing of unwanted sexual activity or advance on another.

mental block – an inability to remember something because it is hidden to protect an emotional state.

neglect – lack of attention or care.

physical abuse – causing bodily harm or inflicting physical pain.


clutter – a confused, crowded or disordered state.

declutter – the act of creating order from chaos and finding simplicity or tidiness.

life balance – the ability to meet all demands from work and personal life.

life management – a strategy designed to effectively control or accept all aspects of living.

minimalist – one that lives and abides by only what is necessary.

organize – the art of putting items in an orderly fashion.

simple living – or voluntary simplicity is a lifestyle that minimizes the “more is better” or attainment of wealth and instead embraces the quality of time and living.

simplicity – is the art of being content by eliminating all complex and unnecessary things.

simplify – the reduce the complexity or make something easier.

sorting – a process in which to organize and make order of things.

time management –  a strategy designed to effectively control the use of an individuals time.

wellness – a healthy state of well-being, free from stress and disease.


assets – anything of monetary or material value.

bankruptcy – a legal process to eliminate debt and liquidate assets, when a person or company is unable to make payment.

budget – a plan that defines how to spend money. A balanced budget is therefore spending only the money you have on the things you need.

capital – any form of financial wealth.

consolidation loan – the replacement of multiple loans into one loan with less interest or greater terms.

credit – a loan of money for some form of monetary penalty or gain.

creditor – someone to whom money is owed.

credit counseling – the act of getting assistance or guidance to improve credit or eliminate debts.

credit rating – a measure or score that determines how much risk is involved in loaning money.

debt – anything that is owed from one person or entity to another.

expense – any monetary cost involved with living or doing business.

income – money or revenue gained from investment or work.

investment – the act of using an original amount of money to create more through loaning with the intention of receiving a rate of return.

interest – the amount of payment or rate charged for borrowing.

loan – an arrangement in which a lender gives something in return for a fee or interest.

money management – the process of effectively managing money.

payee – a person to whom money is paid.

payment – a sum of money given from an arrangement of money that was owed. Usually with interest and a principal amount.

principal – the original amount of a debt.

depression & anxiety

agoraphobia – a fear of open or public places.

anti-depressants – medication used to alleviate mood disorders.

anxiety disorder – excessive worry and fear without a specific cause.

attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (adhd) – a disease that hinders the ability to concentrate.

behavioral therapy – a form of therapy used to treat depression and mental disorders by exploring the patients behaviour and correcting or allowing self-correction.

bipolar disorder – a disorder that causes a person to move between extremely happy and extremely depressed moods.

cognitive therapy – a form of therapy that focuses on forms of thinking and adjustment in mental actions.

conduct disorder – a pattern of behaviour that causes someone to act inappropriately in certain situations.

depression – a mental state characterized by an extreme negative feeling and lack of energy.

major depression – a combination of symptoms that continue for long term and cause an inability to function at work or in life.

manic depression – a form of depression where the cycle of moods are severe.

mood disorder – is a disturbance or emotion that causes a person to have reduce functioning.

natural remedies – a remedy or cure that uses natural herbs or solutions to fix a medical problem.

neuro transmitters – the chemicals in the brain that facilitate communication between one cell to another.

obsessive compulsive disorder – recurrent and persistent thoughts and feelings that lead to a repetitive and obsessive behaviour.

psychiatrist – a doctor that treats disorders with medicine.

pyschologist – a doctor that treats disorders by exploring the mind.

therapist – a professional that treats disorders by applying a form of therapy, perhaps in groups or training session.

seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – as the name suggests a disorder that causes depression, typically in the winter or when a person is lacking sunlight.

serotonin – is a brain chemical that regulates mood, sleep and learning.

social phobia – anxiety of being in public places or situations with social interaction.


abandonment – the act of withdrawing or giving something up.

adultery – an extra-marital affair that interferes with maintaining a marriage.

alimony – court ordered support payment from one partner to another, usually people that where married or dependent on each other.

child support – support payment by one parent to another (the one is custody of the child) to help maintain the costs

custodial parent – the guardian in charge of a child.

decree absolute – a common divorce term for the name given when divorce is finalized.

default – failure to fulfill an obligation, as in payment for child support or alimony.

emancipation – freedom of control from another, as in a partner.

guardian – a person who cares for another person or their property.

grounds – the terms on which a divorce is declared.

joint custody – the responsibility of care by more than one party.

maintenance – regular care to upkeep something as in a partner or family unity.

parental rights – the legal rights that both parents have in regards to the upbringing and visitation of the child.

separation – the act of a couple splitting apart.

sole custody – the responsibility of care by one parent or party in exclusivity.

visitation –  the right for a parent to see a child

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