When Is a Birthmother a Birthmother?
Most women who choose adoption after they find out they’re pregnant wonder, “Am I just a mom, or a birth mom?” It can be weird to use a term for yourself that you’ve never heard, especially when many people don’t agree whether a birthmother is a woman who has had her child, or the term includes those who are pregnant and have decided to adopt.
“Birthmother” refers to a woman who has given birth to her child, and subsequently placed him or her in an adoptive home. Some women prefer to be called “natural,” “biological,” or “first” moms, depending on how they interpret the connotation of birthmother. However, the term birth mom is widely used because it signifies the greatest moment in all pregnancies, when the mom has her baby, and the world greets him or her for the first time.
A mother doesn’t technically become a birthmom until after the delivery. This is because she still has rights to the child up until the birth, and depending on the state a few days afterward. Many people believe the term birthmother should only be used for women who have made the final decision to place their baby in an adoptive home. This sometimes confuses pregnant moms who know they wish to place their child, but don’t know what terms to use when explaining her situation to others.
The term birthmother celebrates life and a woman’s choice to adopt. A birthmother is the first mom, and should be honored for her decision and her place in the child’s life. Calling yourself the “birthmom” says to others, I loved my baby, and am proud to have brought them into the world. No one can replace a mother’s love, especially the love of the baby’s first mom.
How do you feel about being called a birth mom during pregnancy? Leave your thoughts in the comments below to share your perspective with other birth moms, natural mothers, biological parents and adopting parents!