Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

"Birtmom" definition

Posted by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM
  • 11 Replies
  • 517 Total Views

I was wondering what you all think about what is the definition of "birthmoms" First of all,I HATE that term! I had twins that I gave up for adoption @ birth. I knew that this was the ONLY choice I had. It has turned out to be a loving & grateful decicion ,as I LOVE THESE Adoptive parents. Second,I have an 8 year old that I raised for 3 1/2 years,but was taken away by cps due to my illness. Would you consider me her "mom",as I had raised her up till that age & she was adopted @ an older age,(just last year,in fact @ age 7! ) I STILL feel like her mom. Is a birthmom just someone who gives birth? What about someone who raise their child,up to a point? Are we just BREEDERS? Personally,I think not!Any thoughts?

CafeMom TickersCafeMom Tickers
by on Apr. 20, 2012 at 4:27 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
mindybelle2003
by New Member on Apr. 20, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Btw-This is how I feel,MOST of the time!   http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-S1gnUsOv8Eg/Tz2-uXc52LI/AAAAAAAAA4I/C9zSSuSAirw/s1600/birthmother+meme+copy.jpg    (safe link)

onethentwins
by Gold Member on Apr. 20, 2012 at 6:05 PM
1 mom liked this

Lot's of people here feel the same way that you do.

Personally I have no problem with it.  Some say it limits the role of the mother to the birth only. I think bearing a child and giving birth to it is a massive thing, not just some trivial thing, so how is that limiting. 

This from Nancy Verrier - "But few dare give voice to that which they know in their hearts: that the connection between biological mother and child is primal, mystical, mysterious, and everlasting. Far more than merely biological and historical, this primal connection is also cellular, psychological, emotional, and spiritual."

The only other term I'm fond of is Original mother, even though I still prefer birth mother. I know why others don't like the term, and I understand and respect that.

mommasbrat912
by Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 12:21 AM
1 mom liked this

As an AP and adoptee, I think sometimes it is hard to know what to say. Different women like or dislike different terms, so I think each "family" needs to respect how the child's biological mother feels.

In my case, with my dads, I just call them my dad, both of them. Except when I am around my mom, who hates when I call my bio father dad, so around her I say my father. When I talk to people around them I will often say my dad (bio dad) and my step dad or adoptive dad (the man who raised me) or I will say my dad (the man who raised me) and my father (bio dad) depending on which side of the family I am talking to. When talking to either of my dads if I refer the other dad I will just use his name.

When it comes to my sons birth mother. In a group like this I will refer to her as his mother or birth mother. I think overall when discussing who you are in a child's life, the terms just help to differentiate between which mother you are. I think it would be a whole lot more confusing if we all said mom or mother with no identifying "title". I don't think that title is all you are, or limits your importance in anyway, just makes it easier to know who in the adoption family you are talking to. (not in anyway claiming that is everyone's feelings I know others have more negative intentions with using it, just my opinion and reasoning)

When talking to people I know in real life I will either use her name if it is someone who knows her, or say his mother. Because to me, that is what she is. I feel like I am his mom, I am the one raising him and that title is important to me. Not to discredit her place in his life, but because for most of my life that is what I wanted to be..a mom. But I rarely use birthmother because I feel she is more than that. If she had been a woman who placed her child and disappeared off the face of the earth then maybe I would feel birthmother is more suitable for that situation, but even though she doesn't want face to face contact, she is still very interested in his life and calling her his mother just feels right.

I think overall, family politics, and all involved members of the adoption family's feelings are the main concern. I don't think there is ever going to be a singular term that everyone is happy with. But I sure don't think birth mothers are breeders and I think it's incredibly sad and wholly unforgivable for anyone to make any mother feel that way no matter what their circumstance!

ceejay1_iz_back
by on Apr. 21, 2012 at 10:55 AM
1 mom liked this

mindy, this question, upon ocassion arises, and each time , as you can see, it is an individual preference.

The term was "coined" back in the earlier days around the BSE, to dlegate 'our" position in the childs life.  Adoption facilitators decided to make the adopter feel better about her role in her 'new' childs 9or soon to be 0 new childs' life, as if she was the 'only' mother, therefore they termed 'US" to be a Birthmother...nothing more.

SO to me in that defining term is is horrible and offensive, not only to me as my twin sons First/Natural mother, I NEVER use it, not even when discussing it to others'.  However, as I was staing I FEEL as if this is disrespectful to the adopting mother as well, because a woman who cannot bare a child, already IS aware she is not the Natural mother to said child.  So in MY opinion when they "coined" this term it is so disrespectful to both Moms:)

I personally am my twin sons Firstmother/Natural mother, nothing more nor less:)

onethentwins
by Gold Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Lee Cambell, the founder of CUB, Concerned United Birthparents, says she coined the term birthmother.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CGQQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.sacredhealing.com%2Ftriadoption%2FMisc.%2FOrigin%2520of%2520the%2520Term%2520Birthparent.pdf&ei=hySTT6HqAuqciQK2sOzhDw&usg=AFQjCNEHtMx0XL3YWr3RCrAQ6NIilmWU9A

This link should lead you to the PDF. sorry I couldn't figure out how to save it as a jpeg or cut and paste it.

 

Cedartrees4
by Silver Member on Apr. 21, 2012 at 10:49 PM
2 moms liked this

I hold a differing opinion from CUB and Lee Campbell.   I believe that there is no difference between "birthparent" and "birth-parent" and "birth parent."   Lee figures that it is less pejorative if there is no space between the two words, but when someone calls you a "birth mother" and you know that the term is defined to mean that you were a mother at birth and not after, yet CUB says that "birthmother" means you are still a mother, do you ask the person that you are talking to, "Is that with a space or not?"  :(

I'm sorry, but my personal opinion is that eliminating a space between two words to make a compound noun really doesn't count as coining a term.  The term "birth mother" was an industry invention: created by adopter and adoption-industry promoter Pearl S. Buck (articles published 1955, 1956, 1972), proliferated by baby brokers Baran and Pannor and their colleague Sorosky (articles published 1973 to 1976) and officially defined by adopter and baby broker Marietta Spencer as part of the industry's "Positive Adoption Language" campaign (1979).  If you would like to see a collection of the original materials showing this, it is on the Origins Canada site (http://www.originscanada.org/documents/adoption-language.pdf):  "The Development of 'Birth Terms' to Refer to the Natural Mothers of Adoptees (1955 to 1979)" (PDF)

It is interesting, OTT, to read Lee's description of why she coined the word.  According to BJ Lifton, CUB was pressured into using either "birth" or "biological."  This is an excerpt of a letter from BJ to myself and some others:

"The reform movement tangled with the issue of language as early as the seventies. Lee Campbell, the founder of CUB, just reminded me that I argued for the term "natural mother" because it was the one used in all the historical texts. It was the term I used in my memoir Twice Born, which came out in 1975.  And I still prefer it. But somehow the struggle with the agencies and adoptive parent groups narrowed down to "birth mother" and "biological mother."  - 9/12/2006

And it is unfortunate that Lee parrots the falacy that the term "natural mother" makes the adoptive mother "unnatural."  By playing the opposites game, the opposite of "birth parent" is "death parent."  So, this argument does not stand.  The opposite of "natural" in this case is not "unnatural," it is "socially and legally created (by modern society),"  recognizing the truth that modern legal child adoption was only invented in 1851.

I personally don't use the term "birthmother" or "first mother" for myself. I'm a mother of 4, including being the natural mother of a now-former adoptee.   I refuse to answer to the label of "birthmother" or "birthmom" because  I never ceased being a mother.  And i'm not a "first mother" as I was NOT replaced by a "second  mother" (à la "first wife/second wife")

So, Mindy, my opinion is that you are a mother to ALL your children.  NOT a former mother. NOT a former parent.  And you have every right to demand that you not be called a "birthmother" if you do not feel comfortable with the adoption industry ("Positive/Respectful Adoption Language") definition.

onethentwins
by Gold Member on Apr. 22, 2012 at 4:27 AM


Quoting Cedartrees4:


 

So, Mindy, my opinion is that you are a mother to ALL your children.  NOT a former mother. NOT a former parent.  And you have every right to demand that you not be called a "birthmother" if you do not feel comfortable with the adoption industry ("Positive/Respectful Adoption Language") definition.


As always, I respect and understand your opinion.

One beef I have with the honorable Betty Jean is that she said in one of her books, can't check which one right now because DH is asleep in our room where I keep my adoption books, that she considers her aparent as her "real parents" and asks "us' to respect that. I cannot, nor will ever be comfortable with the term "real" in adoption.

mindybelle2003
by New Member on Apr. 22, 2012 at 4:48 PM

Why are the adoption family's feelings of MAIN concern,I DO respect them,but they DO NOT respect me. In my youngest daughters case ,I know they have told her so many lies,especially since she's older,I know she remembers things & has trauma & they don't let this go! They even changed her name @ age 7! I'm afraid I will ALWAYS be bitter towards them for pushing her away from me & changing her name(especially since it was a family name & special to me). I am NOT trying to be selfish,I do have her interests in mind,but I don't think they do! She has ALREADY been diagnosed(@ age 8)w/ bi-polar & believe they are milking it & feeling sorry for themselves.They ALWAYS complain about how difficult she is. I AM tired of this. Give her back if she is such a burden! Sorry,had to vent-she won't even talk to me on the phone anymore because,I believe,they have made her afraid of me.I NEVER did hurt her due to my illness. Oh,well,maybe she will figure it  out as she grows up! Thank you for reading

CafeMom TickersCafeMom Tickers
mindybelle2003
by New Member on Apr. 22, 2012 at 4:52 PM

BUMP!

adopteekjt
by Member on Apr. 27, 2012 at 4:22 PM
1 mom liked this

I (as an adoptee and an adoptive Mom), my birthmom (deceased), my amom and my adoptive boy (soon to be boys).... have great affection for the term birthmother. My birthmom was very special to me and my amom. My boys birthmom sees them every week and  is included in milestones, shoot I called and sent pics when a first tooth came in lol. I suppose it is all in how it feels to you individually. It will always be special to our family

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)