The "birthmom" controversy
I try hard to use the word 'place' as opposed to 'given up' for when a child is transitioning from one family to an adoptive family. I understand a pregnant woman who is placing her child isn't a birth mother until she places her child - she is just an expectant mother like any other at that point.
Someone posted in comments I shouldn't call Gloria a birthmom since she did parent Hayley for several years. I understand that Hayley resided with other people over the years but Gloria did parent her the bulk of the time. If you've read for awhile, you've seen me call her 'first mom' as well. I'm comfortable with that too, seems valid.
Some birthmother activists have said 'natural mother' is a better choice. That never appealed to me because it can apply to more than the time frame, which is really the issue at hand. As upsetting as those activists find 'birth mom', I find 'natural mom' offensive. Natural is too broad to cover birth of a child.
So what is the best phrase to refer to her - here in the blog and in real life? Should I switch to 'first mom'? How does this apply to her birthfather who didn't know he was her father until she was three and only met her a few times? Do I stick with birthfather for him? I like to think of myself as a person who wants to be sensitive to the needs of others so let me know - I'd really like your thoughts.
For what it is worth, Hayley calls Gloria whatever she wants - sometimes Momma, sometimes Momma Gloria, sometimes just Gloria. I've never told her what to call her and I've told her calling her Momma is just fine. And for grandparents, her grands on those sides of her family have distinct names they like being called so we've just stuck with them - Nana and Poppy as well as Maw Maw and Paw Paw.
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