A Mother By Any Other Name

Birth mother? Natural mother? For this biological mother of an adopted child, the words themselves don't matter as much as the intent behind them.

Some birth mothers prefer the term "natural mother."
I don't recall being referred to as anything — birth, natural, or biological mother — when I relinquished my son for adoption in 1970. If I had shared my secret afterward, I might well have been called something: a slut, a bad mother, or, worse (at least to me), a saint. Better, I decided, to be nobody. By the time my son and I reunited, 26 years later, his adoptive mother had died, so he had no mother except me. ...

Is the term ‘birth mother’ an example of appropriate, positive language — or an offensive and demeaning label?


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