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Alternative names for "birthmother" and "birthfather"?

Hi, all! I was wondering how you refer to your child's birthparents, or birthparents, what does your child's adoptive family refer to you as? I'm happy with both terms, but hubby is struggling. He feels like the term "birthfather" takes away from his role as father. He swears up and down that he doesn't feel threatened, but you and I both know that deep down he is. We had a big discussion about it recently and about the fact that he needs to deal with some things in his own heart regarding adoption, etc. so that he feels confident in his role as dad to our kids. I struggle with how else to explain who these people are to the kids without those terms. (DD is 3, DS is 1.5) I tell them that you grew in X's belly, but what do you say about the birthfather? That he helped you grow in X's belly? It's just so hard to explain the relationship to small kids. We have open adoptions with both, but don't have in-person visits at this point based on the wishes of our kids' birthfamilies, but that could always be a possibility in the future. I would expect that the kids would call them by their first names when they get older, but for now?

Anyway, please no bashing on the hubs. Everyone has to deal with their emotional baggage re:adoption on all sides of the triad, and has to do it in their own time. I know that someday he'll feel as peaceful as I do about these issues, he just needs time. He knows that we have to do what is best for our kids in the end, but I'd like to show him that I respect his feelings for now and want to gently help him through it. Any suggestions on alternative names? Thanks in advance!

Answer Question

Asked by ZoeyBethsMomma at 6:25 PM on Jun. 27, 2011 in Adoption

Level 8 (246 Credits)
Answers (30)
  • i prob just call them by there 1st names
    saying that xxx and xx maid you togther then you grown in xxx tummy and they gave you to us to be your mummy and daddy

    Answer by feralkitten at 6:40 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Well in the adoption world they place alot of emphasis on respecting the birth parents, this is the biggest gift one could ever give!! They have started using the term "first mother" which is in fact the truth. I think a respectful way of referring to them is "natural parents" if you have a problem with birth mother and father. When you adopt you can not change the fact that your children had parents before you, its somethign adoptive parents have to deal with and I am sure your husband will come around to that in time....Good Luck!

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:10 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • We use first parents. Unfortunately, our dd's adoption is closed so we don't have any contact with her first family. She is adopted from China...

    Answer by mcginnisc at 8:07 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • With all due respect to anonymous above, "natural parents" isn't really a term that is encouraged anymore. It implies that there's something unnatural about adoption, and can make both adoptees and adoptive parents feel bad in the end. I'm fine with "firstmom", etc., especially because it's the truth, but I was just trying to come up with some alternatives for hubby that don't include father. Like I said, I know he'll eventually come to terms with the unchangeable fact that our kids have these other people who were technically their father before he was, but right now he's struggling with dealing with it.

    Comment by ZoeyBethsMomma (original poster) at 8:21 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Also with all due respect natural mother is a term that is encouraged by many mothers that relinquished children. Birthmother is sometimes seen as offensive. Natural mother no more implies that adoptive parents are unnatural than birthmother implies adoptive mothers are death mothers.
    I don't know of any term that would remove the word father from the equation. I'm not really sure its a good idea to do so.

    Answer by Aislin at 9:49 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • What about biological parents? My friend is adopted and she calls them her biological parents.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:14 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • Genetic mother and father? and as far as explaining it, I would say it takes a man and a woman to make a little baby...XX was the woman, XX was the father, and we are lucky enough to be your parents.

    Answer by Mom-2-3-Girlz at 10:17 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • "natural parents" is an example of disrespectful adoption language - do not use that

    Answer by Suzy_Sunshine at 10:38 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • I guess for right now I'm not going to call them anything other than their first names, and explain it as "you grew in X's tummy and Y helped." I don't know how else to do it. The fact of the matter is that yes, they're biological parents, yes they're first parents, yes they're birth parents. I think it's like anything else... one term might feel better to one person than it does to another. When I say "birthmother" I say it as a term of respect in that this woman is also your mother, but just in a different way than I am. She gave you life, you were part of her body, and she made the most difficult decision any parent could ever have to make in choosing for someone else to raise you. I just wanted some kind of term to use in the meantime while my husband is dealing with his insecurities, but I really don't feel like there IS one that both gives the birthparent respect but doesn't take away from hubby's role either.

    Comment by ZoeyBethsMomma (original poster) at 11:04 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

  • As a birthmom, any other term bothers me - I strongly dislike "firstmom", and others. I am her birthmom, and that's what she knows me as. She calls me by my first name but introduces me as her birthmom, as do her parents.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:09 PM on Jun. 27, 2011

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