My intention is not to offend, ever. And I realize this is a sensitive topic for some. So, if I happen to share something which disturbs or offends you, then feel free to let me know. Either comment below or send me an email. I’m listening*
So, they say, (and by they I mean all of those in and around adoption communities) that there are certain words and phrases you should never use when discussing adoption or adopted children. For instance, we should never use words like unwanted, abandoned, or illegitimate. We should never say a child was “given up or put up for adoption”; instead, we should say “made a birth plan” or something like that. Also, when discussing the biological mother of an adopted child, whatever you do, don’t refer to her as the ‘Real mother, Natural Mother, or Bio mom’ because doing so may be incredibly offensive, I guess; thus, Birth-Mom is best. They say these words and phrases are archaic, and avoiding them will help cut down on the negative narrative, and their fight against the “soft stigma” surrounding adoption…. ’ allow me to repeat those two words, soft-stigma… and forgive me, I feel a tiny tangent coming on because I do not believe any of those they-sayers know how words work or how stigmas work because there is nothing soft about a stigma. That’s not how stigmas work. That’s not how they work at all. Soft-stigma, Give-me-a-break. Also, I’m pretty sure I could write a book about their so-called soft stigmas, and their negative narratives, or at least a wordy pamphlet, probably.
My experience was with a closed adoption because it was the 70’s, yall. About 95% of adoptions taking place in America today are open adoptions, which I believe can be quite beneficial. Do you know what open and closed adoptions have in common? No? It’s abandonment. Yep, I said it. Even when a birth-mom makes a birth plan, and even when a birth mom chooses the lovely couple for her baby, the abandonment still exists.
It isn’t necessary for the adoption narrative to be positive or negative, only that it be true. Erasing abandonment from the adoption narrative makes no sense because, without abandonment, there can be no adoption. It doesn’t matter how you sugar coat it, or the terminology you use, or the circumstance which brought it about, abandonment coves first and avoiding, denying, or sugar-coating that truth isn’t beneficial for anyone, especially the child (wordy pamphlet about this may follow, later, maybe, maybe not)
Isn’t it entirely possible that some of this negative narrative the adoption communities are trying so hard to combat is perpetuated by the fears and insecurities of the adoptive parents as well as the birth-moms?
I believe it is (for a multitude of reasons which I won’t go into here (you’re welcome)), especially when it comes to the whole bio-mom/natural mom/birth mom thing. To all of the adoptive moms, I’m sorry, I understand. You may be the-best-mom-ever in the whole entire history of adoptive momming, and still, you are not the-mom. At the same time, you are very much the-mom, the bravest of all the moms, probably. I refer to my birth-mom as my natural-mom, my bio-mom, and my real-mom, and I don’t believe doing so discredits my adoptive mom in any way, at all. Also, I refer to my adoptive mom as my-mom, my mama, my real-mom, and sometimes, depending, my not-mom. Like it or don’t, all are correct.
Also, if you find yourself offended when strangers, friends, relatives, family members, or more importantly, your adopted child uses something other than ”birth mom,” then, knock-it-off. Take the time to ask yourself some hard questions. Get some therapy, whatev, just get it figured out because being offended is not only making a mess for your adopted child, it is for everyone else too.