adult children / grown-up children

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sunnyweather

Senior Member
Polish
Hello,

Can we use 'adult children' interchangeably with 'grown-up children'?

e.g.
1) He has two adult children.

2) He has two grown-up children.

Looking for a definition of the noun 'adult children' I found the following: 'An adult child is a term commonly used to describe any grown adult who was exposed to emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child.' Adult Children — Out of the FOG

However, I also found the term used as an equivalent of grown-up children (which term does not seem to have the extra meaning the first does).

He is married with three adult children.
Times, Sunday Times (2012)

Adult child definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

So I suppose that both can be used in the sentence I've written. Am I right?
 
  • Barque

    Senior Member
    Tamil
    An adult child is a term commonly used to describe any grown adult who was exposed to emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child.'
    This uses the word "child".

    However in "He has two adult children", "children" does not mean young humans. It means "offspring", or sons and daughters.

    So I suppose that both can be used in the sentence I've written. Am I right?
    Yes, you can but I prefer "grown-up children".
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I've never heard of that special definition of 'adult child'. To me it would only mean the same as grown-up child, which is however the more usual term. As 'grown up' is the process, it goes with other ideas of change: perhaps they've moved out of home, or got married, or whatever. 'Adult' perhaps just suggests they've turned 18, passed a legal limit, or whatever.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    I would think the counselling term is shorthand for "adult who is a child survivor of trauma." It's context specific.

    If someone says "Bob has an adult child from his first marriage" I don't think the same thing as if I read "we provide counselling for the adult child."
     
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