Monday, November 8, 2010

I Am A Biological Mother

Knowing what you know about me, after reading my blog for the past year, how many of you were shocked to read the title of this post?  C'mon..raise your hands...

I am a biological mother...a natural mother...a real mother...a birth mother. 

The difference between what I mean by those terms and what some adoptive parents mean by those terms is huge.  My daughter and son have my biological DNA coursing through their bodies.  I gave birth to them naturally...I am real to them...I am their birth mother.

BUT...they were not relinquished for adoption.  I am raising them.  But that doesn't make me any less a birth mother than any of my natural mother friends or my own natural mother. 

Get it?

I read a blog post today...and it angered me.  I know, I know, you're not surprised.  Especially when I remind you that it's still "National Ripped-From-Our-Natural-Families-Because-It-Was-Apparently-God's-Plan-For-Us Month".

The blog post was about Positive Adoption Language...PAL vs. "Negative" Adoption Language.  I can assure you that what she was discussing is not MY pal by any stretch of the imagination and if you're an adoptee or a natural mother, it's not YOUR pal either. 

It just seems that the only people who have a problem with the "Negative Adoption Language" are typically adoptive parents and potential adoptive parents.  They negate the impact of adoption on their children and the adoptees that have matured into adults because it's easier on them to pretend that the child was a blank slate when they got them.  Nothing mattered before Gotcha Day...only what happened after. 

I AM adopted.  Always have been, always will be.  I was given up when I was only a day old.  And 34 years later, my natural mother made contact with me.  And then we moved on to reunion.  I'm in reunion with my natural mother and my family...saying that "reunion" is negative again minimizes the effect that it's had on my life.  Making contact is writing a letter..making a phone call...reaching out.  Reunion is a process that can't be compartmentalized into a single moment. 

I'm a little shocked that the term "adoptive parent" is offensive to, well, adoptive parents.  I mean, many of them spend a lot of time proclaiming how wonderful adoption is and how God loves adoption...wouldn't you think they'd WANT to attach that label to themselves??  To show how self-sacrificing they are to take in a child "born to unmarried parents"? 

What's even more shocking is that the blog author could write the following on the post:

"It is very important to understand the difference between positive & negative adoption language when speaking with an adoptee and/or adoptive family. Here are some good pointers."

I think that if she'd taken out the "speaking with an adoptee" part, she would have captured the essence of what she was really trying to say.


  1. My favorite is how rapidly the folks responding accuse the adoptees of being "bitter" for voicing their feelings about the PAL labels.

    Let the bitter-baiting begin.

    Loser PAPs. That's all I have to say about that.

    (((Hugs))) to you and every other adoptee out their whose voice is marginalized at every turn.


  2. I'm pretty sure I know the post you mean - the comments were appalling.

    And honestly - I thought PAL died a long time ago. I was seriously shocked that the poster thought it was a revelation of some sort.

  3. I forgot to link to the post in question before I hit "publish" but I edited it now. Sigh.

    I was appalled as well Margie and hate the way adoptees are always treated like children..even when they (we) grow up and become adults.

    <3 to all three of you...

  4. I think it is weird not to want to acknowledge that one is an adoptive parent. I have never had an issue with that. I don't introduce my children as "my beloved adopted children" but I have no worries if someone calls me an adoptive parent. It is just that for my kids I am mom. They are all at different ages and stages on this journey

  5. OMG Christina. I commented over there but I doubt they will approve it. I was gobsmacked as well that adoptive parent was seen as negative. I see that parent is on the positive list and I am sure that means the adopter is seen as that and there is no room for any other.

    Anyway, great post. I have had this discussion with others before and have told people who insist on calling me a birthmother that they are as well. Funnily enough they didn't like that... but also couldn't answer my question back to them how they were not if by definition it meant giving birth. Instead, the change of subject was swift.

    It keeps coming back to the double standards and hypocrisy of adoption. Everything is as it should be until you inject some adoption into it and then the world is turned upside down to force the rest of us to see it as normal.

    Love the post.

    Myst xxx

  6. WOW!!! That's all I have to say! Great post! <3

  7. One of the funnier PAL commandments is the "natural Mother" name, which many adopters take issue with.

    They whine, "That makes adoption seem UNnatural, so what am I, an UNnatural Mother?"

    Yes, Virginia, you are correct. Nature has nothing to do with adoption. Our natural Mothers gave birth to us. Adoption, a legal procedure, made a stranger our ADOPTIVE Mothers.

    I think even a three year old adoptling can see the ridiculousness of PAL.

  8. I didn't know that "Adoptive Parent" was suppose to be negative.



    I am an amom and I don't find it offensive.

    As Lee said, I don't introduce my children as "my adopted children," or myself as their amom-- but if we ever get to a point and that is what my kids prefer-- that is OK.

    I have seen some PAP and APs get over the top sensitive about things-- I don't know what they think they will accomplish that way. It turns people away-- including some other AP--not to mention thier own children as the grow into adulthood.

  9. I can see for the sake of the child to use the rule of KISS.

    It depends on the mind set of the adoptive parents but I also think it depends on how much the child looks like he could be their offspring. In many cases it is blatantly obvious the child is adopted and those differences need to be acknowledged.

    I know my son emmulated his adad, who he happened to resemble, so they were able to pretend his adoption issues away. Not really but they did anyway.

  10. I don't think it should matter whether or not the child looks like the APs...

    For the child's sake, the differences SHOULD be acknowledged. Otherwise they'll end up bitter and


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