The adoption community is often split on what terms are considered appropriate when discussing adoption. The important factor to consider is what one term may be right for one family may not be or feel right for another family.
In light of this, I’m starting a new series of articles on the Adoption site here at Bella Online. Each article will take a look at adoption and foster care terms. The articles aren’t meant to sway you one way or the other, but rather give you a wide range of commonly used terms and thoughts behind each one.
This week, we’re going to look at some of the different terms used to describe Mom. The purpose of this list is to simply make you aware that when it comes to being called Mom, there are many ways to do it.
- Birth Mother
Some people prefer this term due to its common sense name—the birth mother of a child. However, some birth mothers prefer to be called other names, including:
- First Mother
There are others that argue that birth mother should also (or instead of birth mother) be referred to a first mother.
- Natural Mother
In recent years, there have been arguments to replace the term birth mother and first mother with natural mother.
- Real Mom
Moms who have adopted probably here this question over and over again: “Are you his real Mom?” While questions like this are to be expected, especially by other children, it can be shocking when it comes from other adults in front of your child.
- Adoptive Mom
Some moms who have adopted don’t mind being called “Adoptive Moms” on occasion,—and yet, others prefer to be simply called Mom.
Whether Mom is referring to someone who made an adoption plan for her child, or for someone who has become a Mom through adoption, the term “Mom” may have many different meanings.
Explaining why you feel strongly about one of these terms might help others understand your point of view. Keeping the communication open and honest from the start will help define how everyone in the adoption circle prefers to be called.
Share your thoughts about this on the Adoption forum!