Thursday, October 11, 2007

If you call yourself a "birthmother" ...

... you are stating that you are not a mother.

... you are stating that you have no connection, no love, no bond with your lost child.

... you are stating that your worth in your child's life is as nothing other than a convenient set of reproductive organs, not as a person or a human being.

... you are agreeing with the people who told you that you are not fit to be a mother because (fill in the blank) you were young, unmarried, poor, a sinner, irresponsible for getting pregnant in the first place ... or whatever the coercion of the time was.

... you are in effect calling yourself an incubator.

But worst of all, you are stating you are no longer a mother as your role ended with birth.

The term "birth mother" was created and defined by social workers to be part of "Respectful Adoption Language" which, in contrast, defines the only "Mothers and Fathers" of our children to be those who adopted. It is only respectful to those who have adopted, and shows you no respect what-so-ever.

You deserve much more than this. We may have been separated from our children, though surrender or "placement", but we are still their mothers. And, being mothers, we are not "birth mothers," because a "birthmother" is defined as being a non-mother.

Think of it this way, in other (non-adoption) circumstances, one still says "His mother died when he was a baby," or "His mother divorced his father when he was a baby, and he has a stepmother." NOT "His birth mother died when he was a baby." In the "Real World," outside of the surreal and artificial landscape of "Adoption Land," there is no such thing as a FORMER mother!

That is why many natural mothers, who still love our children and feel that strong connection with them, reject the term "birthmother." We know the bond of motherhood, which even lasts despite years and decades of separation. We do not feel that it is necessary to be denigrated in dehumanized in order to "respect" another social group.

But no matter how difficult society makes the lives of single mothers who refuse to relinquish their children, those women who gave into the pressures suffer in a way the others will (mercifully) never know. For the saddest and most horrifying aspect of adoption is the amount of emotional damage inflicted upon the natural mother. To call her the 'birth mother' instead of the 'natural mother' allows her only the physical birth and denies her those feelings she wasn't supposed to have. -- Death by Adoption, Joss Shawyer, Cicada Press (1979), p. 62

The term "birth mother" as thus applied to mothers of adoption loss is -- in effect -- a blatant lie.