My work deals with transformations in matter, wherein one physical form (a 'phase') changes to another. The initial form has often traditionally been called the 'parent phase' and the transformed form has been called the 'daughter phase'. I think this borrows from nuclear physics, where a 'parent' nucleus transmutes into a 'daughter' nucleus; which may further transmute, becoming a 'parent' in turn.
Off late, it has been pointed out (in private conversation) that 'parent-daughter' is not in the spirit of inclusive language. I'm taking this at face value, and would like suitable alternatives.
**It has been pointed out that criticism of this premise should be allowed space- I welcome this too, though the primary interest is in alternative terminology.
**Several commenters have suggested replacing 'daughter' with the gender-neutral 'child'. This is already a great improvement, but there could be another apprehension; the 'parent' and 'child' often don't co-exist, since one replaces the other (to various degrees). It is not uncommon to describe the transformation as one phase 'consuming' the other. I speculate that this aspect may lead to some discomfort (it should apply equally to nuclides then). This caveat somewhat distinguishes this case from data structures example, where the child (class for eg.) inherits from the parent, but both continue to exist.
'Precursor-product' is one possibility, but this (possibly) carries different connotations in chemistry (in my limited understanding, precursors are secondary to the product in value terms- although this could be my ignorance). 'Pre-transformation' /'post-transformation' could work, but they sound clumsy. 'Initial/final' is not accurate nor properly descriptive. 'Phase 1/Phase 2' could also work, but they are tedious because the reader has to refer to what 1 and 2 mean.
Are there any suitable alternatives, either new, or existing elsewhere that could fit the requirement?