What is the Correct Term for Birth Mothers in Colorado?
Last weekend the world celebrated Mother’s Day on Sunday. If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering your options, Mother’s Day might be a difficult holiday for you. You may be wondering if Mother’s Day applies to you and asking yourself questions like: “Am I a real mother?”, “What is the Correct Term for a Birth Mothers in Colorado?”
Any person who carries then delivers a baby is a real mother. But there are other ways in which a person can become a real mother, such as through the gift of adoption. While there are many commonly used terms for mothers, some are more appropriate and comfortable than others.
Several Good Ways to Refer to a Pregnant Woman who has not yet Delivered her Baby
Terms like pregnant teen, expectant mother, expectant woman, pregnant woman are all perfectly appropriate. Each describes a woman who is pregnant but has not yet delivered her baby. Outdated or flowery terms such as “with child” or “in bloom” might feel unrelatable or sound just silly. At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we most commonly use “expectant mother” or just simply “pregnant woman”. Both are completely fine. Sometimes simple is best. Pregnancy isn’t a condition that needs to be linguistically dressed up. You shouldn’t use any term that makes you feel uncomfortable.
Our society has a lot of slang terms for pregnant women. At our Colorado adoption agency, we do not use terms like “knocked up” or “preggo”. Generally speaking, those terms seek to diminish the seriousness of pregnancy or even make a joke of it. At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we treat every expectant mother respectfully, as she deserves to be treated. Many pregnant women looking at options for their unplanned pregnancies are scared and overwhelmed. Joking about their situation is not helpful.
Terms for Birth Mothers in Colorado who have Placed their Child for Adoption in Recent Years
As adoption becomes a more popular and accepted option for unplanned pregnancies and for growing families, new terms have begun to spring up for the mothers who choose to give their baby up for adoption. At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we like to use a term that honors a woman who gives birth to a child yet suggests that a different mother is raising the child. Therefore we most often use the term “birth mother”.
“Biological parent” or “biological mother” is another acceptable way to refer to a birth mother, but it’s become a little bit dated in recent years. Some birth mothers feel like the word “biological” emotionally distances them from the experience of carrying and delivering a child. In cases of closed adoption, or a traumatic experience, that can be a good thing. But for many birth mothers, especially those who chose open adoption, it’s not the preferred term. Some have described the term “biological” or even “bio-mom” as dehumanizing – making them feel like a test tube or an incubator.
Are there Terms that Are Offensive to Birth Mothers in Colorado?
Language is powerful. At Adoption Choices of Colorado, we try to choose empowering and uplifting language when we can. We want to speak about the adoption experience and each member of the adoption triad in a positive, affirming way. Sometimes a word might seem okay at first until we consider the alternative. Here are a few terms that have fallen out of favor for a good reason. At first, they may not seem bad at all. But when we look closer, sometimes there’s an unintended insult to another person in the adoption triad that makes the term a poor choice.
- Real Mother: People will commonly ask an adoptee, “Do you know your real mom?” when they want to know if the child is in contact with his or her biological family. To call someone a child’s “real mother” implies that the child also has a “fake mother”. The child’s adoptive mother is a real mother, as is the child’s birth mother. Neither is fake. Both mothers play critical roles in their child’s life. Both deserve respect and honor. Calling one mother “real” inherently implies the other is somehow “not real”.
- Natural Mother: While this term is designed to be a gentler, less medical-sounding version of “biological mother”, the offense is in the implied suggestion. If the birth mother is the child’s natural mother, then the adoptive mother must be “unnatural”. Views on the adoption process have come a long way, but terms that suggest it’s “unnatural” to raise a child someone else gave birth to reinforce negative adoption stereotypes rather than affirming adoption as a legitimate way in which to build a family.
- First Mother: This is a term most likely intended as a simple reference to chronology. The speaker most likely wants to say, “First, this woman gave birth to a child. Then that child was placed for adoption, gaining an adoptive mother.” But rather than sounding like the timeline of events, the term sounds more like the podium placement in sports. “First mother” sounds somehow better than “second mother”, as if it’s a competition.
Some Birth Mothers in Colorado Come Up with a Term of their Own
Most commonly, “birth mother” is used to refer to a woman who gave birth to a child then placed that child for adoption. Most adoptive mothers are simply referred to as “mothers”, unless there’s a reason to reference their role in an adoption triad and differentiate them from birth mothers. But many adoption triads decide on a different term that works for them. Adoption Choices of Colorado encourages you to use the term that works best for you.
In some states, a pregnant woman is often referred to as “wearing the hatching jacket”. If a playful term like that appeals to you, then by all means, use it! After your baby is born, if you choose an open adoption plan, other opinions could factor into the terms you choose. You and your child might come up with your own term. Your child’s adoptive family might have opinions about which terms work best. It’s important that you, as the birth mother, use a term that makes you feel both comfortable and valued. If the term you choose works well for you and for your adoption triad, there is no right or wrong.
If you’re an expectant mother and exploring options for an unplanned pregnancy, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. One of our adoption professionals can answer your questions and help you decide if adoption is the right option for you and your baby.
If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and want to learn more about your adoption options, contact Adoption Choices of Colorado by email, phone, or text: Email Us, Text us: 720-371-1099, Call us: 303-670-4673 (HOPE). If you are hoping to adopt, please contact us here.
Meet the Author: After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in Education, majoring in English and Social Sciences, Brianne Davis has spent her adult life as an educator; first in the public schools, later through martial arts. Her ability to convey difficult concepts, navigate varied learning styles, and always keep it interesting defined her reputation as an impactful instructor. Many of her early published blogs centered on the goal of helping other instructors effectively teach children for whom learning is a struggle. Once an empty nester, she committed to sitting in traffic less and writing more. With those goals in mind, she, along with her husband and dogs, packed up, sold their family home and moved to the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington’s wine country, where the pace of life is slower and the sun shines brighter. Realizing in our modern age, more of us turn to the internet for information than ever before, Brianne, now dedicates her time to educating others through blog writing.
As a life-long information junkie, Brianne enjoys taking deep dives into new topics, then condensing them in an interesting way to convey valuable information in a relatively short amount of space. Once her career, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and mixed martial arts remain hobbies, along with boating, reading, and traveling.