Frequently Asked Questions Page 4

What do all those acronyms stand for? To the uninitiated, there can be a number of bewildering abbreviations, acronyms and unfamiliar words. Please e-mail [e-mail link] me if you encounter anything that you don't see listed here. I have been involved in international adoption for over ten years, so I don't notice the "short-hand" anymore. Definitions here are mostly from [external link]. I have a few Russian/Kazakh words here that come up frequently.

  Acronym/abbreviation expanded, definition
AAD     Ambivilent Attachment Disorder:
AD     Attachment Disorder; milder form of RAD
AD(H)D     Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder; "lifelong developmental disability that affects a child's ability to concentrate and control impulses. A child who is hyperactive has problems with an increased activity level."
AMOM, ADAD     adoptive mom, dad
APAR(S)     adoptive parent(s)
apostille   certifies authenticity of individual notarizing or certifying documents; used in countries participating in the Hague Conference on international law.
APR   A-Parents-Russia, a large international adoption e-mail list for Eastern European adoption maintained by Eastern European Adoption Coalition (EEAC).
ARBD   Alcohol Related Birth Defects; anomolies such as heart defects, sight/hearing problems, joint anomalies, etc.
ARND   Alcohol Related Neurodevelopmental Disorders; disorders such as ADD, behavior disorders, obsessive/compulsive disorder, etc.
BCG   vaccine to protect against TB given in most parts of the world; causes a small scar
BCIS   Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS). Now USCIS
BH   baby house
bio   biological, child born to parent; term is usually used only on adoptive parent e-mail lists and groups, not IRL.
BMOM, BDAD   birth mom, birth dad
bobek   baby in Russian
CAPD   Central Auditory Processing Disorder; "A condition in which an individual has difficulty comprehending and integrating information that is heard, although hearing is normal. It occurs when the ear and the brain do not coordinate fully."
CIS   Commonwealth of Independent States, created in December 1991 to promote economic trade between Russia and 11 Eastern European and Central Asian countries.
COC   Certificate of Citizenship
detsky dom   children's home
DH, DW, DD, DS   dear husband, wife, daughter, son
DOA   date of adoption (not dead on arrival, the standard medical meaning!)
DOB   date of birth
dom rebyonka, dom malenkiego rebyonka   baby house, little baby house; Russian
dossier   "A set of legal documents which are used in an international adoption to process a child's adoption or assignment of guardianship in the foreign court."
EI   Early Intervention; "federal entitlement for all children under the age of three for evaluation and treatment of developmental delays. Definition of delay, eligibility, and fees are set by each state."
EE   Eastern Europe
ESL   English as a Second Language
ESOL   English for Speakers of Other Languages
FASD   Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders; encompasses all effects of alcohol use during pregnancy, including FAE, FAS, ARBD and ARND.
FAE   Fetal Alcohol Effect; "A disorder associated with cognitive and behavioral difficulties in children whose birth mothers drank alcohol while pregnant. Symptoms are similar to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) but less severe or comprehensive."
FAS   Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; "Birth defects, and serious life-long mental and emotional impairments that may result from heavy maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Symptoms of mental and emotional deficits may include significant learning and behavioral disorders (including attention deficits and hyperactivity), diminished cause-and-effect thinking, poor social judgment, and impulsive behaviors. "
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FSU   countries that were members of the Former Soviet Union
gotcha day   generally, the day that the adoptive parents were given custody of the child. Some parents choose to celebrate this day annually.
HS   home study
IA   international adoption
IEP   Individualized Educational Plan; "a plan for educational support services and outcomes developed for students enrolled in special education programs."
INS   Immigration and Naturalization Service. Now called USCIS.
LOI   Letter of Invitation; required to apply for a visa for Kazakhstan
MFA   Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kazakhstan
MOE   Ministry of Education in Kazakhstan, issues the LOI
NSN   Non-special needs, more common to see in reference to adoptions from China
PDD   Pervasive Development Disorder; "a large group of developmental disabilities which are neurological disorders, usually of unknown cause; types include Retts Syndrome, autism, and Aspergers Syndrome; characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in social interaction skills, communication skills and/or sterotyped behavior, interests, and activities."
PI   Post Institutionalization; "used to describe an array of emotional and psychological disturbances, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and/or medical problems resulting, in part, from their stay in institutions."
PTSD   Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; "A condition in which victims of overwhelming and uncontrollable experiences are subsequently psychologically affected by feelings of intense fear, loss of safety, loss of control, helplessness, and extreme vulnerability and in children the disorder involves disorganized or agitated behavior. "
RAD   Reactive Attachment Disorder; "A condition with onset before age five, resulting from an early lack of consistent care, characterized by a child's or infant's inability to make appropriate social contact with others. Symptoms may include failure to thrive, developmental delays, failure to make eye contact, feeding disturbances, hyper-sensitivity to touch and sound, failure to initiate or respond to social interaction, indiscriminate sociability, self-stimulation, and susceptibility to infection."
Re-adoption   "A term that is used to describe the practice of adopting a foreign child in the United States after it has already been adopted by its adoptive parents in the foreign country of its origin. The most common reason for a re-adoption is to allow the child to obtain a United States birth certificate, written in English, showing the adoptive parents as though they were the biological parents of the child."
SAHM, SAHD   stay at home mom, dad
SID   Sensory Integration Disorder or Sensory Integrative Dysfunction: "an interruption in the ability to assimilate our senses into our learning environment, defined as a neurological disorder that results in inefficient organization of sensory input received by the nervous system. Children who were deprived of touch, movement, sound and other normal sensory input may exhibit overly sensitive reactions to noises, touch, taste, smells, and sight."
SN   special needs; "Common special needs conditions and diagnoses include: serious medical conditions; emotional and behavioral disorders; history of abuse or neglect; medical or genetic risk due to familial mental illness or parental substance abuse."
SSA, SSN   Social Security Administration, social security number
SW   social worker
USCIS   US Citizenship and Immigration Services, previously known as INS and BCIS. For all of the various forms, go to the Pre-adoption: USCIS page.
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General Internet Lingo
AIM   AOL Instant Messaging, popular program for chatting with someone online
Blog   Web log, open forum, usually for 1 individual, to post thoughts, journals, pictures.
BTDT   been there, done that
BTW   by the way
FAQ   Frequently Asked Question
FWIW   for what it's worth
IMO   in my opinion
IMHO   in my humble opinion
IOW   in other words
IRL   in real life
LOL   laugh out loud
OT   off topic; not related to the usual discussions
PM   Private Message, a direct e-mail or to a private inbox on public forums
ROFL, ROFLOL, ROFLMAO   rolling on the floor: laughing, laughing out loud, laughing my a__ off
OTOH   on the other hand
URL   Uniform Resource Locator, i.e. a world wide web "address" of a site

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Page last updated on 28 June 2007.

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