I was reading a blog post the other day and one of the followers expressed their opinion about the blogger using the term “birth mother”, asking the blogger how she could use such an archaic word to describe a mother. Truth is this blogger is a mother who placed her child into the adoption system. She doesn’t speak as an outsider looking in, but rather she is one of the brave souls who took this unexpected emotional journey through uncharted territory of loss and sorrow. No one ever prepares a woman for the ramifications of choosing to relinquish their child.
For reasons I wrote about in my book, One Woman’s Choice, I also took that emotional journey and relinquished my parental rights four days after I gave birth to my son, Noah. Personally, it doesn’t bother me if someone’s refers to me as the birth mother, first mother or biological mother. To me, I am Noah’s birth mother. I gave birth to him during childbirth, hence the term birth mother. I am also Noah’s first mother. I conceived him within my womb and our souls were connected as we shared a space within the temple of my body. And I am and always will be his biological mother. My genetics, blood and DNA runs deep throughout his body.
Now, I will say that although I have used the term birth father, this doesn’t make as much sense to me as the birth mother term. The father doesn’t give birth to his child. I’m also not fond of the term “birth siblings”. Sometimes the siblings weren’t even born yet. How can a brother or sister be deemed the birth sibling if they were not born at the time of the birth? And even if the sibling was born prior to, they did not choose to relinquish their sibling rights as a brother or sister and should not be subject to a label of lessor prominence. My two sons are not “birth” brothers, they are brothers, period! They have the same biological mother and father. This fact inevitably makes them brothers and no relinquishment document can ever erase that fact.
I am the mother of my son, Jaren. I conceived him within my womb, gave birth to him, nurtured him, fed him, and have raised and provided for him since the time he entered this world. On the other hand, I have not done the same for Noah. When I relinquished my parental rights and handed Noah to his new mom, I passed the “mother” title to her as well. Don’t get me wrong, it hurts to speak this truth. As a woman and a mother, I would have loved nothing better than to have raised both of my sons as one family with no added titles, but my choice and signature on a legal document changed all that.
Call me whatever you want, but I know what role I have to both of my sons and they know who I am to them. Whatever they choose to call me is their choice. Either way, no political title will define me or my relationship with my sons. My love for them is far greater than any barrier the public tries to wedge between families of diverse circumstances.
I asked Noah one time how he wanted me to introduce him; as my birth son, my son, or Jaren’s brother. He said, “You can just say I’m your son.” And so it is…