Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 23 - Terminology

Terminology: What do you call your natural/first/birth/biological mother/father/family? Why? Are there different rules for different family members? What term(s) is not acceptable to you? How do you refer to them to others? If you're in reunion, do you introduce them the same way? How does your natural/first/birth/biological mother family feel about the term? Does it matter to them? What about your adoptive family? Do you use a qualifier when speaking about them? If not always but sometimes, when do you use it?

I have always used the term birthmother/father when I need to differentiate who I am referring to in conversation for my own parents. More often than not I will simply say “my mother Iris”, or just Iris, unless who she is unknown to the person with whom I’m speaking. On the other hand, I never use the term birthmother to refer to Liam’s Mom (see the difference even there… Mother vs Mom). If I have to use something to explain who she is beyond “Liam’s Mom”, or just her first name, I will use Liam’s First Mother. Of course the fact that Liam also lives with 2 mothers can cause all sorts of confusion! I go by Mama and Hilary goes by Mummy, and it’s all very clear to us, our friends and family and even Liam’s teachers, but beyond that people tend to get confused as to who is who. It’s rare that I have to use the qualifier “adoptive mom”. I just refer to her as Mom and assume that everyone knows who I’m talking about. If the conversation is about both my mother’s, than I might need to clarify things.

Even though Iris and I have reunited, I have never had the opportunity to introduce her to anyone else, so I’m not sure how I would handle that. I would probably just use her first name and leave it at that.

I really do hate it when people use the term birthmother for an expectant woman who might make an adoption plan for their unborn child. I hate it when people shorten birth mother to BM in forums or online. I hate the term “real” mother too. Not because it make me, the adoptive mother, feel not real. I’m not really sure why I hate it, it just doesn’t sit right with me.
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