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Do you know what an adoptee desires most of all?

From an adoptees heart I can tell you that it is distressing to see arguments about "the mom" titles and roles. We simply want to be able to claim both of you and be able to benefit from what both of you has meant to us in whatever role that is (even if we don't know a thing about you).

In order to fully accept ourselves (as in identity development) we must have the opportunity to view both of our moms for what they have added to our lives. Even in situations of abuse/neglect and involuntary termination of birth parents' rights, there needs to be something positive to claim for the adoptee. How hard is it to say something nice? Like..."I love your eyes, your birth mom probably had beautiful eyes too!"

Why does it seem to be a big battle over the title "mom" in adoption?


Asked by PortAngeles1969 at 3:12 PM on Nov. 7, 2008 in Adoption

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This question is closed.
Answers (34)
  • Beautiful! Every child need to know there is something good about their mother and father (and as you point out, there may be more than one). If my mother was nothing but bad, how can I be good? We need to find the nugget of goodness. Thank you for sharing that truth.

    Answer by manna1qd at 8:36 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • It is like that with the "dads" too. My mom kept me but my birth father had nothing to do with me, he was 16 she was 18 they both were in high school. I honestly think he didnt know the full story but my mom calls him names and always asks why I want to get in contact with him, DUH!!!!!!!! he is my father

    Answer by mommyof20507 at 3:26 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • To me, a mom does more than give birth. A mom is the one who holds and comforts and wakes up many times during the night and kisses the boo-boos and goes through the tantrums and the first days of school and potty training and teaching the colors, shapes, numbers and battling on eating or not eating veggies, etc., etc., etc.

    I'm not trying to take away what a BMom does and what she gives up or the emotions and longing that must go along with relinquishment. But I will admit that I am a bit selfish when it comes to the title of "mom."

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 3:36 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I would like to add to what I said above ^^^^

    By me being "the mom" with DD doesn't in any way mean that we are taking away something from her BMom. It does not mean that we would hinder any kind of relationship or benefits that DD would have or get from her BMom.

    Many adoptees that I speak with on a regular basis agree that the AMom is "the mom" while the BMom is "birthmom," "firstmom," "natural mom," or "*name*". From what I gather from what they say, the mom title is more a thing between the AMom and BMom.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 3:45 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • Why is it that I can't express certain feelings or emotions or thoughts without having people want to rip them apart? You are not one to decide what does or doesn't make a great mom. My daughter is always (and I do mean ALWAYS) put first. Anyone who knows me would agree. If she wants to refer to her BMom as "mom" once she fully understands what's going on, then that's fine. It will bother me, yes, but she'd never know it. I would never put that kind of pressure to choose between one of the other on her. It's her choice, not mine. We celebrate her adoption and have no desire to extinguish any part of the BMom's soul that you are talking about.

    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 5:26 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • Allaboutkeeley. You just don't get it do you? Instead of arguing why can't you just listen to what this very wise and loving adoptee is trying to tell you. It's not about you, or what you think. It's not ok to just dismiss it as being "a bit selfish". By refusing to see your daughters birth mother as a mom, her other mom, the one who bought her into the world and gave her her looks and personalily, you are doing your daughter a disservice.


    Answer by onethentwins at 5:28 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • I never once gave any indication that I wanted to be a "second mom" to the daughter I relinquished. The couple that adopted my daughter have made it pretty clear that her big sister and I are NOTHING to her. I just want them to acknowledge that I am her mother and my older daughter is her sister. I know my place, but I want them to at least honor my title, even if my only significance to her life was simply giving birth to her. A piece of legal paper doesn't mean squat. I am still her mother and my other child is her sister. She didn't just drop from the sky into their laps, you know. I certainly do not want to take the place of the woman she will be calling Mom. She may want to know why she looks the way she does, or if she shares any other traits with bio-family. There's no competition. She has a Mom. But I am still her mother.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:51 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • AllaboutKeeley, With all due respect, I don't believe that frogdawg was responding specifically to your answers to the question, I think she was responding to me, the OP! I also think that her definition of what being a "mom" in the adoption world was describing herself, not telling all adoptive moms how they should be.

    To all: This is exactly what I'm talking about! I've never seen this type of defensiveness about the title/role of mom anywhere else but in adoption and divorced families where a new step mom/dad enters the equation. Why in the world wouldn't you be thrilled that your child has the opportunity for MORE love, MORE caring adults involved in their lives? Love isn't a limited commodity to be carefully doled out because there isn't enough. Love multiplies and expands - children can never be shown too much love.


    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 5:52 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • "Give to your child, nurture both her, and nurture the place of her orgin. We don't have to be best friends but to stay connected to our children's birthparents is to continuously nurture the souls of our children"

    This is perhaps the most beautiful statement I have heard in a long time. Thank you, you give me hope that the new era of adoptions will offer the chance for adoptees to fully embrace who they are in all aspects. The closed adoption era has left many of us with an inability to fully embrace who we are because we simply don't know a piece of what makes us unique.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 6:00 PM on Nov. 7, 2008

  • frogdawg: Thank you. I know there are situations in which I am more sensitive than others and adoption is one of them...especially when discussing it here. Sometimes it almost feels like I need to be more of a mom because of how I became a mom. I know this is the case with many other AMoms also. Like we have to PROVE we are capable of being a mom since it didn't come naturally. I aplogize to you too because of my sensitivity and for being so quick to jump. Thank you for understanding why and where I was coming from. We don't hide from DD's adoption, but embrace it. I want to do everything in my power to raise DD into a happy and healthy adoptee. I am a member of adoption groups and websites and come to this Q&A to see other sides and to get other perspectives, as well as share my own. Again, thank you...and I'm sorry too!! :-)


    Answer by AllAboutKeeley at 6:52 PM on Nov. 7, 2008