AQ green orange

Green arrowAAQ Hashtag




Relax, the image above is not a math equation haunting your stressed brain. The graphic announces a vital change in how GIFT Family Services discusses Adoption-attunement. Readers of this blog know that the foundation of our adoption coaching rests firmly on encouraging parents’ commitment to achieving a high #AQ. We conceived of AQ to parallel the other widely recognized “intelligences” and joined “AQ” to IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Intelligence.) We’ve discussed the fundamentals of adoption attunement many times. To recap, #AQ* means parents strive to tune into their children’s needs and to understand, acknowledge and handle their own “stuff” as well so that it lessens the frequency with which parents get triggered.

We believe our work with families provides a vital tool for helping families thrive as an adoptive family. To help people find our writings, we usually add a hashtag. This gathers all writings on AQ under a single, searchable umbrella even material written by individuals other than those who are part of GIFT. We worked diligently to help the #AQ* hashtag achieve wide recognition in the world of adoption. So why would we shift our hashtag after working so hard to establish a following? We discovered that the hashtag we had been using is also shared by the vile and dangerous group Al Qaida and its supporters. From now on, we will designate Adoption-attuned Intelligence as #AAQ. Please help us spread this replacement tag so we can continue to educate families and professionals on this vital concept that serves positive support for adoptive families.

AQ triadPlease help us build awareness of this hashtag change–and the important messages it advocates. Most of us are familiar with the concept of the adoption triad which refers to the interconnectedness of birth parents, adoptee and adoptive parents. We are permanently and inextricably connected. Many graphics have been created to depict this relationship. Usually it includes a triangle and a heart. GIFT uses the graphic included here.



AQ design variationBeyond the triad relationship we now recognize that adoption joins an even wider group of individuals: extended birth and adoptive families, etc. ; these relationships are collectively described as the adoption constellation. We are pleased to introduce our graphic representation of this relationship.

We would appreciate the efforts of each person of the constellation to spread the word about this new hashtag and separate us from the former one. Thanks for helping us to continue to provide support before, during and after adoption.



(Adoption-attunement Quotient) includes:

Adoption-sensitive parenting techniques

Sound adoption language

Knowledge of the attachment process

Consideration of grief and loss issues

Respect for birth parents

Modeling healthy boundaries

Educating family, friends and teachers on adoption

Remembering that a child’s story belongs to him

Recognizing that adoption is a family experience

Encouraging playfulness and good humor as a family value

Integrating a child’s birth heritage

from ABC, Adoption & Me: A Multicultural Picture Book for Adoptive Families

—by Gayle H. Swift with Casey A. Swift