May 13th, 2007
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For a birth mother in reunion, all sorts of remarks will be offered once you volunteer the news that you have been found or found your child. One of the main reasons I never told anyone that I was a birth mother until reunion was my fear that people would reject me once they heard my “secret.” All in all, I was fortunate to receive lots of support and few insensitive comments.

Here are some of the ways and comments nearly guaranteed to stir up reunited birth moms and set their blood boiling:

1. One of the all time favorite comments made to reunited birth mothers upon news that they are reunited:

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“Oh great, so everything is okay now!” – I have heard this comment, and it made me not exactly angry, but more incredulous. Reunion has the ability to accomplish a lot. However, it does not magically erase the past and make up for all the years apart. Assuming that reunion is a magic fix can make a birth mother angry because it is so absurd and dismissive of her loss.

2. When adoptive parents, adoption lawyers or others publicly speak out against open records and talk about how us poor pitiful birth mothers need to have our privacy protected. Are adoptees such evil creatures that we need to remain hidden from them? If birth mothers craved privacy so much, why is there a trend towards open adoptions? I really hate for others to presume to know what birth parents want.

3. Tell a birth mother that she is not really a mother because she relinquished her right to be a mother. Be sure to drone on about who changed the diapers, wiped the nose, etc. and insist that person is the “real” mother, and that birth mothers should leave their children alone. People make those kinds of comments on some forums on a regular basis. Birth parents relinquish their rights to parent, however, once a mother always a mother. Giving birth is one indisputable way that a woman becomes a mother. There are other ways to become a mother as well – adopting is another way.

4. Call a pregnant woman considering adoption a birthmother even before she has given birth. Does that make her an ex-birth mother if she changes her mind and decides to parent? Along the same lines, call your child’s birth mother, “your” birth mother. That makes her sound like she is your private babymaker and your personal property. If she is “your” birth mother, I suppose you could request a second or third baby from her, huh? She is your child’s birth mother, not yours.

5. Another all time favorite is to tell a mother who wants to search for her child that she has no right to do so, that it may disturb her child and his/her parents. Inquire if she did not promise that she would never search for her child. Few mothers say that they made any such promise. In fact, some mothers were told that as soon as their children were of legal age that they would be given information about their birth mothers. However, rarely was it true that adoptees received information about their birth family when they reach legal age.

6. Ask her why she hasn’t gotten on with her life or “gotten over it yet.” Tell her that she should just let it go and stop her whining and crying. Birth mothers love this one!

Some of these items do not necessarily provoke intense anger, but are merely annoying and upsetting.

Suggested Reading:

Only Two Kinds of Birth Mothers.

It is Hard Not to Be Angry Sometimes.

Anger Among Triad Members

Photo by Jan Baker 2007

3 Responses to “How to Make a Birth Mom Angry”

  1. merrill1277 says:

    “Giving birth is one indisputable way that a woman becomes a mother”

    So simple, yet so profound.

  2. djvj says:

    sorry, as a birthmother i have to respectfully disagree with the preceeding comment, instead i would say “loving a child selflessly is the one indisputalbe way that a woman becomes a mother”

    i wish there wasn’t so much need to lable and declare ownership in love. i don’t need a title, a role, or a set of rules to love my relinquished child with all my heart, and neither does her adopted mother. we do not compete, or cancel each other out; we are simply 2 major influences that determine how our child will develop. my love for my child is unconditional, as i know the love of her adoptive mother’s is, and that makes us BOTH true mother’s in my eyes. Our daughter wouldn’t be the same beautiful, smart, talented, compassionate and secure young woman without the gifts and traits that both of us gave her.

    don’t get me wrong, i also get offended/hurt at insensitive comments made about birthparents, but i know that in my heart of hearts i made the most perfect and selfless decision i could in choosing to relinquish her to a wonderful secure family that could provide so many things i could not at 17. no misinformation, critisism, rudeness or unkindness in the world can ever take away my experience of mother love, and it helps me to deal with the unfortunate attitudes that sometimes surround adoptions, open or otherwise. Love is it’s own reward, and things like titles, proximity, and even contact are simply extras…

    just my opinion, hope i said it in a non offensive way, because i think so many of us birthmoms are tired of being dismissed as parents we might tend to fight back with the biological claim — when really, there is no need to fight. nothing anyone says or does can change the fact that we are mothers, just as the same is true of the adoptive mothers.

    it is my sincere wish that forums like this can help dispell the tension, insecurity and fear that all to often exists in the adoption triad.

    thanks for an interesting topic!
    vj

  3. djvj says:

    sorry, as a birthmother i have to respectfully disagree with the preceeding comment, instead i would say “loving a child selflessly is the one indisputalbe way that a woman becomes a mother”

    i wish there wasn’t so much need to lable and declare ownership in love. i don’t need a title, a role, or a set of rules to love my relinquished child with all my heart, and neither does her adopted mother. we do not compete, or cancel each other out; we are simply 2 major influences that determine how our child will develop. my love for my child is unconditional, as i know the love of her adoptive mother’s is, and that makes us BOTH true mother’s in my eyes. Our daughter wouldn’t be the same beautiful, smart, talented, compassionate and secure young woman without the gifts and traits that both of us gave her.

    don’t get me wrong, i also get offended/hurt at insensitive comments made about birthparents, but i know that in my heart of hearts i made the most perfect and selfless decision i could in choosing to relinquish her to a wonderful secure family that could provide so many things i could not at 17. no misinformation, critisism, rudeness or unkindness in the world can ever take away my experience of mother love, and it helps me to deal with the unfortunate attitudes that sometimes surround adoptions, open or otherwise. Love is it’s own reward, and things like titles, proximity, and even contact are simply extras…

    just my opinion, hope i said it in a non offensive way, because i think so many of us birthmoms are tired of being dismissed as parents we might tend to fight back with the biological claim — when really, there is no need to fight. nothing anyone says or does can change the fact that we are mothers, just as the same is true of the adoptive mothers.

    it is my sincere wish that forums like this can help dispell the tension, insecurity and fear that all to often exists in the adoption triad.

    thanks for an interesting topic!
    vj

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