#Human Rights
United Nations
United Kingdom

The generally accepted definition of the word "adopt" as it applies to children is:

"To take into one's family through legal means and raise as one's own child."

Whereas the definition of the word "sponsor" as it might apply to an endangered species is:

"A person or group that provides funds for an activity, esp. a person or group who donates money to a charity when the chairty requesting the donation has performed a specified activity as part of an organized fund-raising effort."

So by this very simple example it would be quite possible to sponsor a child in say China through organisations such as Hope4China or the Goodrock Foundation.
It is also possible, after much soul-searching, bureaucratic process and financial support to actually adopt a child from countries such as China or Thailand (http://www.dcfs.gov.uk).

But, it would be wholly inappropriate, not to say insulting to adopted children around the world, to seek to raise funds for the welfare and protection of say snow leopards, rhinos or pandas by asking people to “adopt” these animals; quite clearly you would not be taking them into your families and raising them as your own children – you would simply be sponsoring them a few pounds/dollars a month. And in doing so helping a worthy cause and hard working charity.

In 2006 our family was blessed with the adoption of a baby girl from China and 4 years later she herself is sponsoring a panda in China.

So please find it in your heart to support this very worthy petition and help children who have already suffered separation, loss and abandonment to regain some self-esteem by not being compared to the feeding and protection of animals.

We who have signed this petition whole-heartedly support it and request the United Nations to instruct organisations, such as the World Wildlife Fund, to eradicate the use of the word "adopt" in relation to animals in all of its communications and to use the appropriate term, "sponsor".

In doing so we request that those organisations publicly acknowledge this change and strongly urge all and any other similar misuses to be changed accordingly.

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The STOP using the term "adopt" in relation to animals petition to United Nations was written by Paul Charlton-Thomson and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.