Wednesday, December 16, 2009

They call me "biological mother." I hate those words.


I am a mother who gave up my daughter for adoption. I am a mother who relinquished my daughter for adoption. I am a mother who surrendered my daughter for adoption. I am a natural mother. I am a biological mother. I am a first mother. I am a birth mother. I am a mother who was reunited with her daughter after 15 helllish years apart. I am a mother whose daughter committed suicide. I suppose that means I should write: I was a mother. I am a grandmother now--two grandchildren, one who acknowledges me, one who apparently does not want to know me. I am still her grandmother.
I am all these things, and I have millions of sisters. Together we should be able to change the world. But if the language we use must be rigidly pure before we can agree to work together to change the laws to protect more women from unscrupulous, biased laws designed to get babies away from their mothers (see previous post), we will never get anywhere. We will continue to fight over matters that do not forward our cause. We will accomplish nothing.

I do not like the appellation "birth mother" any more than those of you who have written that in the comments, including the one from Anonymous who was very very angry and seems to be reacting to something else she read, and accused us of  "hurting and conspiring against other hurting, vulnerable birthmothers [one word]" as well as ignoring others with "OPINIONS and feelings other than YOUR OWN..."  Obviously she has issues with First Mother Forum.

Remember the word "queer," as in "he's a queer?"  And then the gays co-opted the word themselves, and we had Queer Nation and the like, and you know what, queer lost its power to hurt. Likewise, bastard has been claimed by many adopted people--see Daily Bastardette--and that slur too has lost its sting among adoptees, some of whom which only to be called "adopted individuals" or "adopted people."

It is not quite the same with birth mother, or birthmother, but deciding not to work against archaic laws over this issue is counterproductive. We need to unite, not fracture our numbers into separate subgroups fighting with each other. A few years ago, adoptee and author Betty Jean Lifton was disinvited from one of Joe Soll's conferences because she would use the term "birth mother" in her presentation, and it generated a ton--a ton--of quite heated commentary at Daily Bastardette when our bastardette friend wrote about it.

I get it about the language. I hated the Dear Birthmother card I got from Jane one Mother's day--when it surfaces in my top desk drawer it still makes me queasy, even though the sentiment expressed inside is--hell, the truth is, I hate the damn card. But I did not send it back. I did not tell her that I flinched when I opened the envelope. In fact, my emotions were mixed because I was pleased she had remembered me that year in Mother's Day greetings, and often she had not. Sometime later, however, I found the courage to mention that I liked another card better. I did not make a big deal over it, but she got the point.

At my daughter's funeral, friends of hers approached me and one woman asked me if I were Jane's "biological mother."  The question was asked without malice, in a friendly upbeat manner and I happily said yes, actually pleased that she did not use the agency-approved and schooled adoptese,  birth mother. When I said yes, she immediately told me, "Jane talked about you all the time." Now, am I going to get offended by the woman's casual use of  "biological?" I did not.

But I will always bristle in the presence of the woman who corrected a friend a few days after we got back from my daughter's funeral when my friend used the word "daughter" without modifiers. I was not at this event, my friend Genie, who had known my daughter, was speaking to my husband, and this other woman, yes, an adoptive mother, was standing there. After the second time Genie referred to "Lorraine's daughter," this woman could not hold back. "Birth daughter," she corrected Genie. My husband said he said nothing, and simply went on talking. Screw that, I thought to myself when I heard about the exchange. But I have to see this woman because she is part of a large circle of friends, and I do not say to her: "So how is your ADOPTED daughter? Still having migraines?"  (She does.) I bite my tongue, ask nothing, know we will never be more than acquaintances.

When I wrote Birthmark back in the dark ages of reform of the late Seventies, I had this to say, and the words are on the jacket:
They call me "biological mother."

I hate those words. They make me sound like a baby machine, a conduit, without emotions.

They tell me to forget and go out and make a new life.

I had a baby and I gave her away.

BUT I AM A MOTHER.
I never say, I am a birth mother if I am speaking to someone and about to spill the beans, I always say: I gave my daughter up for adoption. Yet I do not feel that I am debasing myself by using birth mother in writing here because, whether we like it or not, that term has become part of the accepted nomenclature. We can try to change the accepted usage, but it is going to be an uphill battle, given that many adoptive parents can not manage to refer to us with "mother" in ten feet of their mouths.

Some  call us "birth canals," (on RainbowKids.com) or "woman who labored my son," (see Wanting A Child) or "reproductive agent." Those are not quite worth discussing. They are what they are. They are said in fear of our bond with our children. They are said in an attempt to diminish what they know they cannot. When someone called me a "reproductive agent," I felt that she was repeating what she heard from another of her friends, an adoptive grandmother and her husband...the very same one who told me, "You are our greatest nightmare." By comparison, birth mother sounds almost angelic.

As I have said before, I put "birth mother" there at the top of the blog because that is how more people come to read what we have to say here. Adoptive parents do not google "women who gave their children up for adoption forum" to find out what we are thinking, how we are feeling. Nor do most mothers who are gingerly, perhaps secretively, looking for the support and community they need. They do not know that "birth mother" is verboten, that "first mother" is preferable but still highly suspect. Rightly or wrongly, they know "birth mother." They google "birth mother forums," and sometimes they find us.

And I am glad.

One mother can do much, but a huge sisterhood of us can change the world. No matter what we are called. --lorraine 

34 comments :

  1. It's such a catch 22!

    Agreed that the term sucks, know that it was originiated to degrade, don't even want to reclaim it like queer really.. wish we could just dump all modifiers!

    But the question then becomes; do we want to keep preaching to the choir in our nice little safe zones where no one will ge offened or upset and get told by the same people over and over again that they agree?
    OR
    Do we want to get out there in peoples faces and actaully make something HAPPEN!

    Idealism stays in a pretty tower and thinks very deeply about as it should be; change comes from work in the trenches and it gets dirty. If the only mud being flung at me is Brthmother? I can deal.

    I can't tell anyone why the name sucks if no one is even listening!

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  2. I cringe too, at the "birth mother" term.

    But I use it all time in tags on my Exiled Sister blog - because I know it will get the most hits. And then, in my entries, I use the terminology I prefer.

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  3. Although I understand all the arguments against the use of the term birth mother, it doesn't bother me for some reason.

    Biological mother, on the other hand, makes me see red. I think it is degrading and insulting. I saw someone recently refer to his Bio-Fam - sounds like something out of an Austen Powers movie and not in a good way.

    I think I use it for the same reason you stated.

    I came across your book the other day on my bookshelf. I have travelled a journey of a million miles since I first read it way back when.

    UM

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  4. i fear that if we continue to be at odds with each other over the term to use, we will not be taken seriously when it comes to making changes in laws.

    do other people outside the adoption world really understand what natural mother, first mother and the other terms mean? most everybody knows what the term birth mother (birthmother) means, or maybe i should say who is being referred to: a mother who placed her child for adoption.

    i really try not to let the term bother me. i know who i am, i know that i'm my son's mother, and that's all that matters, really.

    it makes me think twice about leaving comments anywhere, i'm afraid of being attacked because of the term that i use. and it has happened. it really shouldn't be this way.

    thank you Lorraine for speaking about this.

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  5. Great post. I started using the term first mother pretty much because of the fuss over Joe Soll's conference, not because I thought BJ should have been treated like some Uncle Tom for using the term birth mother, but because it made sense to me, personally, to refer to my mothers in the plural and to note that one of them was first. I sometimes use birth mother in an irregular way, depending on context.
    I enjoy self-describing myself as a bastard for the very reason that the industry will never approve of it. Being a bastard links me historically with all of those in my circumstances born before there was stranger adoption, all the surplus babies starved to death in nursing stations, all the children "adopted out" from the Orphan Trains, all the street arabs rounded up and put into "orphanages". Adoption was designed to redeem me from bastardy, but I don't need their redemption, thank you very much.
    And yeah, people reacted. Adoptees cried out that "they were not bastards!" I never said they were, I said I was. The fact that law treats them as bastards, still, might give them a clue... but it's up to individual adoptees if they want to identify as bastards. I'm not the language police, if folks want to be doobie adoptees so much the worse for them. There are, as you note, bigger fish to fry.
    The remarkable thing about adoption is that it posits the possibility of two mothers. Our culture has few analogs for this (bio and step mothers, maybe, but different). A lot of energy goes into the competitive dynamic, who is the "real" mother? But it seems to me that plays into the dynamic set up by the system of adoption, which has already judged first mothers as unfit, or "not the real", mothers. It seems to me that first mothers will have a hard time competing in a system that already put them at a disadvantage. Perhaps a better solution is to simply acknowledge the reality of two mothers.

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  6. I think, I believe that we need to stop arguing semantics - who cares, truly? Not me, I don't respond to anything that makes me an incubator, even when it comes from my daughter. People get the point fairly quickly.

    I believe we need to stand together. We are not just mothers who lost children to adoption. We are doctors, lawyers, secretaries, housewives, nurses, bricklayers, concrete workers, and a thousand other things.

    All of these things have value and as a group, we are millions strong.

    Do any of you really believe that AARP started out complaining over being called old? and then arguing over what they want to be called?

    If, I am sure Jane knows how to do this, we were to write up a declaration of incorporation and each of us enter with only one dollar, you would find that all mothers like us would suddenly become something else - something special. Not something developed for this era or that era, but something that is for all era's.

    It does not matter when this horror happened, there is no difference in the pain, in the rage and in the horrendeous life we have that makes any of us different, better or special. It does not matter if we are emotionally dysfunctional in some way. After all, how many of us aren't?

    I wish just for once that all the non-sense about names and who is more hurt would go away and we would stop, look at each other and know, we are a power and it is time to take the reigns before the horses run off the cliff.

    How sad that we can't seem to even do that.

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  7. I think the language is tied up with the behaviour and treatment of fertile women in relation to the adoption industry.

    Realistically, to reach your intended wider audience you may have to use the terms birthmother or birth mother or first mother.

    But when writing letters to politicians or for the media then I suggest you call yourselves MOTHERS and then add that you relinquished to adoption. Always refer to yourselves just as Mothers, that is more powerful.

    Language is important, it has a strong impact. The way you speak of yourself is important.

    It's all very well for the mothers here to say they don't like the label birth mother but I see you use it on your blogs all the time.

    To be honest I don't give the word power anymore. It used to annoy me and belittle me. I don't use it, I haven't had to use it ever.

    I don't identify myself as a mother anyway, I identify myself as a woman.

    Love this forum. Love all the input and get so much validation, thank you for letting me have a voice here too.

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  8. Amen and thank you, Lorraine. Agreeing with Faux Claud as well, we need to get out there and let the world know what's wrong with the adoption industry, regardless of what we are called. It is an internal waste of time chiding each other over terminology when we should be united against our real foes.

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  9. I'm an adoptee.

    So, when talking about my natural mother, I call her my "birth mother" because most people do not understand "first mother" or "natural mother". Frankly, I don't have the energy to explain it to them either.

    Now that my adoptive mother has passed away, I refer to her as my "adoptive mother".

    These women are both equally my mothers and it's just terms used to differentiate them, nothing more.

    If we spend our energy bickering on the small things like terminology, we are playing into the industry's hands.

    I am a proud BASTARD and always will be.

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  10. I am surprised you revisited this subject yet again. I, personally, have been glad to see the war of word dissipate. I think each of us has settled it whatever is comfortable for us, and that is how it should be. I think that juts like Black or African American, people should be free to identify how they chose. I encourage aps and adoptees to do likewise - ask what someone prefers and honor that on a personal, individual basis.

    The public lexicon has us as birth mothers and I doubt that will change. I have identified myself as a birth mother for so long it is not at all offensive to me. i do NOT feel it delegates me to an incubator or breeder any more of less than "biological" mother or for that matter "natural" or "first". ANY prefix limits my role as mother of my first daughter -- but not nearly as much as the reality of having nit been able to nurture her for all of her life.

    I think who is someone's mother and who is their "Mom" is their choice, and we need to respect that just as we ask for respect.

    Finally, I have never objected to being my daughter's birth mother because BIRTH is a unique experience that joins us. She IS my biological offspring. My egg. My DNA. She was carried for nine months in MY womb. No one else can claim that or change that no matter what they chose to call me, or any of us. It is what causes insecurities and jealousy in the heart of adoptive parents. They know we have that blood connection!

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  11. I revisited this subject because it broke out again after the last post from Jane, women saying that we would get more support for working to change laws if we dropped the term "birth mother." So it is one of those evergreen issues in this world we inhabit.

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  12. I am a mother.

    I am a mother who gave up her child. Who lost her child. Who adopted her child back.

    In my everyday life, that is all that I am . . . a mother.

    It is only in this world of fighting for change that I add any kind of prefix to mother and for me, I refuse to call myself a birth mother and I do let it be known that I don't like to be called as such.

    But, that doesn't mean I will let that affect joining others in my fight for change. I do believe, as well, that we are stronger united in our voices for the reform we wish to see and that the terms that are placed before mother should not be reason to divide us.

    That doesn't mean I will call myself a birthmother or use such a term in my own vocabulary.

    And, I believe, there is that risk as well if we accept any part of the "positive" language the industry has created do we then set ourselves up for a situation to also not be able to say we gave up our children and instead feel forced to use "placed my child."

    Do we now also face a future where we cannot even say we are in reunion with our child because, again, the adoption industry is pushing this as against their "positive" language.

    Perhaps we can give in on some but by doing so and not speaking out are we setting ourselves up for later times when we have to change all wording we would use because the industry has made sure that nobody understands our vocabulary and only relates to what they want others to view adoption as?

    For me, personally, I just am not interested in giving them such a power any longer. They have already taken enough from me. At some point I do have the right to say enough is enough and I will not "be" what you want me to "be."

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  13. Ya, and I've had AP's lecture me that I should be nicer to "get them on our side". You know, for open records.

    No, I'm not going to change for anyone. I'm not going to edit my speech or my hostility toward the institution of adoption that royally screwed me and the rest of my fellow adoptees.

    Were the "women" telling you to change the "birth mother" title AP's too? Just wondering cause they seem to be the most judgemental out of the triad and to be lecturing the losers in the adoption triad just irritates me.

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  14. Cassi,

    Nobody, including the adoption industry, can make you use any language or name you prefer not to use or find offensive. How could they possibly prevent you from using the term you prefer, be it just mother, birthmother, first mother, biological mother, or anything else? You are free to call yourself anything you choose.

    Now, can you grant other mothers who have given up a child the same right to use whatever term suits them without correcting or demanding they use a "better" term for themselves?

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  15. i prefer the term first mother. it's the only term that encapture who i am. i am the first and her mother. biological, birth mother render us to the state of breeder.these are language that were designed to further estrange women from their children.

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  16. APS who have to be persuaded to accept open records through kid-glove language are burning stoopid. Open records makes honest parents of us all. What's so bad about that?

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  17. I am an adoptive mom. I am sure I have done about every wrong thing there is to do, but to be frank, it was out of ignorance. Our Social Worker, as part of our homestudy, asked us what our honest opinion of our child's "birthmother" was, because our feelings towards whoever the woman was, would be picked up by our child. In our minds and in our hearts, the term "birthmother" spoke to the unique relationship between mother and child. As an adoptive parent, I am fairly replaceable, but the birthparents, they are the people who created this child. A woman who nurtured and sheltered this child within her own body. A woman who shares a visceral connection with this child which is so incredibly miraculous and unique that no adoptive parent can ever hope to recreate it. In our family the visible sign of that connection, that nurturing, is the belly button. My girls, still very young, call their first parents their belly-button mom and dad. They understand that no one else in the world could give them life, could give them their belly buttons. As they grow and mature I will encourage them to choose the name they would like to use whe referring to these very special people - be it their China parents, their first parents or their birth parents. Whatever they choose they will have been raised with the knowledge that these people are irreplaceable in their lives. My oldest is already referring to her first mom as "my mom". It is so natural for her that I have to clarify sometimes to whom she is referring.

    I am sure that some of you will feel that I am not doing the right thing with this thought process. And you know, you may be right. I just want you to know that in at least one AP heart and mind, the term "birthmother" is the most personal name there is - it is a relational name that no other person can claim. That being said, it still does not change how the term makes YOU feel. With that in mind I will be changing my terminology when in public to first mother. Thank you for expressing yourselves so honestly. If we ever run into each other IRL, though, please be patient with my girls as they proudly and lovingly proclaim that they have a belly-button mommy and daddy in China. We started this terminology before we were made aware of the emotional weight of the term "birthmother".

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  18. I'd rather be called a birthmother, biological mother, first mother etc etc than a belly button mama! That's just weird:-)

    But what counts is your good intentions in trying to honor your kids' biological heritage, and hopefully they will grow out of that term.

    It doesn't really matter what you call us, to me, but that you care.Not all mothers who surrendered are so hung up on language.

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  19. Belly Button Mother!! That's it!! Yes yes call me that...ha ha hah

    No why don't you call me the Tummy Mummy hee hee heee


    Sorry, couldn't help myself....no offense meant....

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  20. Belly-button mommy and daddy...hmm...that's a new one.

    I hope the baby recruiters don't get a hold of that or we might start seeing Dear Belly-Button Mother letters.

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  21. BBChurch wrote: "Adoption was designed to redeem me from bastardy, but I don't need their redemption, thank you very much."

    Really? I thought adoption was designed to back the 'as if born to" idea. I doubt governments cared one bit about redeeming children born to unwed parents.

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  22. Wnen legal adoption got started in the first half of the 20th century, it was very much about redeeming children from bastardy, and then later about redeeming sluts to be born-again virgins. The emphasis on filling the needs of adoptive parents came later, as it become more commercial and high pressure.

    There is some history of this in Ricki Solinger's books. Freudian theory and blank slate behaviorism caused social workers to turn from the old "bad blood" theory that unwed mothers and their bastard children were forever inferior and tainted to the notion that secret sealed adoption could redeem both.

    Even when I surrendered in 68, the emphasis was not on owing some deserving couple a child, but on owing the child two parents and not to be called a Bastard on the playground. And of course if you never tell anyone you had an illegitimate child, you do not have to live as a shunned unwed mother like Hester Prynne.

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  23. Lorraine, another great post. Thank you.

    BB Church summed up the reasons I self-identify as a bastard. As I said before on my blog: sealed records, not my origins, make me one. It's a way of reclaiming what little identity I am allowed.

    Michelle, I think the idea was both "as if born to" and redemption. The mother was redeemed by the sacrifice of her child, and the child was redeemed by becoming "as if born to" the adoptive parents. I think Rickie Solinger talks about that in one of her books.

    As I stated in my comment on the previous article, until such time as public opinions change I think we'll have to keep using "birth mother" if only to draw traffic to sites where we can discuss the question of terminology.

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  24. I don't disagree that bastards were treated differently. What I don't agree with is de-bastardising motive for adoption. What seems realistic is the idea that children with two parents and a stable home would produce healthier productive adults, which would benefit society later. I don't agree that governments and social work agencies were concerned with children being ridiculed on the playground; most kids were/are ridiculed for one thing or another.

    Adoption provided little workhorses for families, mostly orphans, who often were not bastards, rather children removed from their families because unsuitable living conditions (no surprise, I know). And to fill the the crib of an absent biological child. Adoption provided jobs for people, agencies received funding from the church, state and public to promote adoption. it's been a business since the turn of the century - behind the scenes child welfare has always been about what's best for the economy, not what's best for children.

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  25. "I don't agree that governments and social work agencies were concerned with children being ridiculed on the playground."
    No need to trivialize. Nobody said or even implied that.

    Illegitimate children were excluded from automatic property inheritance. That in itself is discriminatory.

    Of course, where there was no property, it was hardly a problem, but the rules were not made for the propertyless.

    Little Snowdrop

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  26. I really think this is an American/Canadian issue. Here in Oz, when people meet me, I am dubbed the real mother, NOT birth or bio mother. Even in front of my daughter's adopters we are seen as the 'real' family which is a bit uncomfortable for them but hey, its the truth. I had no idea how much we were marginalised and crap until I read American blogs and forums. Here, I am a mother and so I will fight for my title to remain that. If I have to be marginalised, I will state I am the real, natural mother but that is all I am willing to accept. I am NOT AMERICAN or CANADIAN and refuse to let a pack of adopters label me just because they come from those countries. That is akin to racism in my book. So sorry if this offends, I am just not going to wear a label. People will only listen if they are open minded anyway so it really doesn't matter if we disagree.

    As for google searches, I have had many searches on anti/against adoption, natural mother etc and many of my readers are American some of which are adoptive parents.

    I just wanted you to know there are others out there that come from different angles because in our countries things are different and adoption affects more than just the two I mentioned. Birth mother is used as put down term; and usually by adopters. As I said, the normal public, the ones NOT caught up in the language bs call me what I am my daughter's mother or real mother. Fullstop.

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  27. Hello! Thank you for this post. I am a mother of 3, two daughters by international adoption and one son by birth. I think a lot about language and how to best use it. I will not, for example, use the term "gotcha day," for what seem to be obvious reasons. I have, however, been using the term "birth mother" (and father), without realizing the negative implications. In fact, I have most likely been misusing the term as it is conventionally defined. In an attempt to explain things to our girls, we have told them that everyone is born from a mother, and that since their brother was born from me, that makes me his birth mother (literally "mother who gave birth to him" with no implications beyond that either way). Writing that now sounds funny and I apologize if it offends. I appreciate your willingness to share your point of view and I intend to use
    "first mother" (or maybe "other mother?") from now on. I genuinely appreciate your blog and all you have to share.

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  28. I'm one of those sitting on the other side of the fence, and I have been interested in seeing how the debates go in "general society."

    I respectfully disagree that if one is a mother, one is a "birthmother" as well. To me, the two terms are exclusive. The term "birthmother" means a non-mother -- it was defined as such by Marietta Spencer and her cronies in the "Positive Adoption Language" campaign it belongs to. That's why I don't identify with it, as to me, I am still a mother. It was an artificially-created term, defined by the adoption industry before natural mothers began using it for themselves.

    I did an experiment a few years ago: I used the term "birthmother" in casual conversation, and people around me -- educated friends -- thought I was talking about surrogate mothers. That was the implication of the term. So, in the context of adoption, the term natural mother or real mother still works. I don't think that CCNM has had any problems with people misidentifying them.

    Even in letters to politicians for open records, many of us here in Canada have stuck to the term "natural mother" and people have understood.

    I use the term 'birthmother' as a 'tag' in my blog posts, but I won't use it for myself or other exiled mothers, as I feel I am still a mother, not a former mother. I am not "a mother for birthing purpose only."

    But if someone else wants to use the term "birthmother," then that is their choice and I respect that. It is up to each of us to decide if we are still mothers or not.

    But I believe that we can change the language, as the language itself was changed by the industry without us having a say in it. We just have to speak up about it.

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  29. I am a potential adoptive mother and am curious if, as mothers, you feel that there is ever an acceptable situation for an adoption. I very badly would like to raise a family and adoption is our only option. If we are successful in adopting, I would like for it to be an open adoption (if the child/ren's mother is interested in that).

    I guess my questions are: IF mothers (and adult adopted children) see adoption as an acceptable situation, is open adoption generally the most desired choice (within the community of mothers who share feelings about such things)? Also, in your opinion what IS the most loving, sensitive way to distinguish to a child their parentage? It would be my desire to ensures/he knows that s/he is loved by both the mother who allowed him/her to be adopted and the woman who is raising him/her with love. Of course, as the child/ren's adoptive parent, I would want for him/her to call me mom (or some derivation) and still treasure the mother that allowed me to share the joy of motherhood.

    I hope that my questions don't offend. I simply want to have the joy of a family and to instill a love in the child/ren I raise both for the family they lost and the family they've gained. I hope you can help as the opportunity for me to parent via adoption may be near.

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  30. My name is Marilynn and I reunite families for free.
    I never use the term birth mother. I never use the term adoptive mother. I don't care who it offends
    You are a mother if you have offspring.
    You are not a mother if you do not have offspring.
    I refer to the people that adopted someone I'm helping as "the people that adopted you" "the family that raised you" "the family you were raised with"
    I refer to women and men looking for their children as Mother, Father, Mom, Dad, Momma, Papa, Pops or any other normal variation of the term that needs no qualifier. I refer to their children as their children, their babies, daughters, sons.
    I'm sorry but its the truth. You can adopt someone else's child, but that child will never be your child it will always be theirs.

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  31. My brother and sister-in-law adopted a baby. Does this mean they're evil? After reading some of these posts..."mother 'lost' her baby to adoption"..."attempt to redeem bastard by adoption..." etc. etc..., this is the impression that I'm getting: that my brother and sister-in-law are some heinous couple who actually stole a baby away from some saintly mother who would have sacrificed anything to keep him! But that wasn't the case. The case was the mother who gave birth to the baby didn't want him. Isn't it the birth-mother who must initiate the adoption proceedings? Isn't that the legal requirement? Because this birth mother certainly did. She didn't "lose" her baby, she "chose" to give him away. My brother and sister-in-law are not kidnappers. Project your regret and hostility elsewhere. Look in the mirror--the failure to love an commit to the child is yours, no one else's. That's why you're called the "birth mother." In the end, that's all you were willing to do.

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  32. Anon,

    Please check out our statement on adoption on the side bar. You'll see that your comments about our views on adoption are wrong.

    You're also wrong in stating that the birth mother initiated adoption proceedings. Only the prospective adoptive parents can can bring the legal proceedings that lead to adoption.

    The birth mother went to an adoption agency to learn about adoption. In all probability, the adoption workers convinced her to give up her child. This may have been the best for her and the baby. In many cases, however, adoption leads to pain and trauma for both mother and child. Adoption workers are paid by adoptive parents and many will use any tactic to get a baby.

    I hope that you will show some compassion to your niece's birth mother should you ever meet her.

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We welcome comments from all, and appreciate letting us know how you relate to adoption when you leave your first comment.

COMMENTS ARE MODERATED. Our blog, our decision whether to publish or not. We are trying to find a way to end the endless anonymous comments, which drive many of us crazy. Pick a name! Any name. Choose the NAME/URL selection. You do not need a URL. Your name does not have to be your name IRL though we appreciate those who do, and we understand due to the sensitive nature of our subject, many will prefer to use a nom de plume. Okay with us, but the endless Anons are tiresome for everyone. If you post as "anonymous" you run the risk of not being posted.

We try to be timely but we do have other lives.

For those coming here from Networked Blogs on Facebook, if it does not allow you to make a comment, click the "x" on the gray "Networked Blogs" tool bar to exit out of that frame and it should then let you comment.