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Using Respectful Adoption Language - Page 3

post #41 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckC View Post
I see where you're coming from. The situation you descibed would be how it would go in real life. We get matched. I call my mom and say "We're matched." "That's great!" "Yea, her name is Jane and she's really sweet... rest of conversation..." From them on I would just say "So I was talking to Jane and..." If I intriduced her to family or close friends I would say "This is Jane" and they would already know who she is. If I introduced her to a casual aquaintance I would say "This is Jane." and that would be the end of it.

As far as the "our" part. I have to say I don't understand where you're coming from in that respect. I can see why you wouldn't like "our bmom" because it's really not at all accurate. I think of our future child's birthmom as family, sort of like a sister in law (which works only if you like your sister in law I suppose, which I do). I'm very close to my sister in law and I consider her family, not just to my brother, but to myself as well. I don't have a direct family relationship with her(hence the in law), but my brother and niece do. I wouldn't refer to her as "my niece's mother" because, while that's important, she has an important relationship to me too. I'm not sure if that makes any sense. I just mean that our future child's birthmother will be my family too and I wish there was a word to describe that close family relationship to me too.

For the matched mom part, I was thinking more in terms of internet conversation where you don't always like to reveal someone's whole name. Also, when I post on the internet I don't want to have to say every time "the mom we are matched with" because it gets kind of wordy. That's why I was thinking of an abbreviation like our mmom instead of bmom or emom.
I can only answer for myself, but when it become OUR baby, OUR Bmom our what ever, it felt to ME like I no longer had a choice in the matter. The decision was made and I could not change my mind (even though legally I could have). I felt like all control was taken from me and while it was an option (adoption), the guilt of hurting someone else was more then I could bare so I couldn't condsider the option of changing my mind and keeping my baby, which now looking back I should have.
post #42 of 74
As a birthmom who is now raising a biological child, I don't appreciate people telling me that DBS doesn't "count" or isn't "really" mine. He does. He is. I made a VERY tough and courageous and educated decision to not raise him myself but with a family in which love abounds on all side of the triad. That CAN NOT and SHOULD NOT be trivialized.

He is as much my son as theirs. He is as much Alivia's brother as he is to his other sister. He is amazing. I love him. And the fact that I can't see him everyday of his life kills me. But I did what was best for the whole triad. It was not a decision that was made lightly.

And when I talk about him, I refer to him as "my son." Because the fact that I'm not raising him doesn't matter. He grew under my heart. I gave birth to him. I held him and looked in his eyes. And knew that as much as I loved him right then, the decision I had made before his birth was the best thing I could do for that amazing person. It wouldn't be fair to anyone for me to try, at barely 17, to raise a baby when I wasn't even completely responsible for myself. The decision for him to join another family was not made lightly, it was not rash, it wasn't because I didn't care or because I didn't want to. It was the exact opposite. It was made with a TON of thought, it took a LONG time to reach, and it was BECAUSE I cared SO much and because I wanted to SO bad that I made the decision I did.

I will NOT let him not be counted, I will NOT let him be trivialized. He is as much my son as Alivia is my daughter.
post #43 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
Should we include this link in addition to Sierra's guide, in our sticky?

http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/resou...ion_terms.html
If you truly mean to respect all sides of the triad, and not just aparents, then please don't link to that, Lauren. It's so....adoptive parent centric, it really makes me sad, from an adoptee standpoint.

I have tried to stay out of this, but please PLEASE don't link to that.
post #44 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
If you truly mean to respect all sides of the triad, and not just aparents, then please don't link to that, Lauren. It's so....adoptive parent centric, it really makes me sad, from an adoptee standpoint.

I have tried to stay out of this, but please PLEASE don't link to that.
O.K.

Are you content with Sierra's guide? Are there any other links you'd like to share?
post #45 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
If you truly mean to respect all sides of the triad, and not just aparents, then please don't link to that, Lauren. It's so....adoptive parent centric, it really makes me sad, from an adoptee standpoint.

I have tried to stay out of this, but please PLEASE don't link to that.
Eek--I clicked over to the policy priorities page, and I agree. From there:

Quote:
Only one to two percent of children born out of wedlock are placed for adoption....it seems to be in the best interests of children and their birthparents for significantly more of these children to be placed for adoption.
This makes me really uncomfortable as the primary policy...
post #46 of 74
Awhile ago ROM linked to a more thorough site about terminology, which was pretty good...but it's been a very long time. :/

I love Sierra's explanations, to be honest though. I think they were better written, with more compassion for all sides, than most anything else I've seen elsewhere.
post #47 of 74
from that site:

Quote:
Consistent with the child’s best interests, preference in adoption placements should be given to families that offer married mother-and-father parenting: Recent research has confirmed the teaching of centuries of historical experience that married mother-and-father parenting is most likely to produce the best outcomes for children. Because the goal of marriage is to be lifelong, married-couple parenting provides children greater security and permanence, and data show that adoptive parents divorce at lower rates than biological parents. Children also benefit from receiving both maternal and paternal love, which are complementary and distinct, and from having both male and female role models in their immediate family. For all these reasons, adoptive placements should be with husband-and-wife couples, whenever possible
it goes on to say that its ok for singles to get the hard to place kids, but not the healthy newborns because there are plenty of married couples for those babies.

:


Katherine
post #48 of 74
GAK! Kind of glad I stopped reading after the first couple of sentences! Kitty, thanks for the heads up! Everything OK--haven't seen you around much lately.
post #49 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by koalove View Post
i know. its hard to know what to say. i think maybe because there is no negativity wraped up with "my sister in law" or "my cousin" is why it seems more acceptable. when you say my sister in law, all kinds of ideas and images are comjured up, mostly positive. saying "this is our birthmom" is much different. you might have great respect and love for your birthmom but in general, when she is out in the world, telling someone she is a birthmom solicits a range of replies from people, but for the most part, you can see their minds grinding and putting birthmom into a category that isnt all that impressive. its just one of those things. its like describing childbirth to someone who hasnt done it. you just have to be in that position to really get it. it also just seems so easy to say what it really is "this is (childs name) birthmom. she wont be your birthmom.
I totally agree that "our birthmom" is all wrong in that situation. It would be equally ridiculous for a birthmom to say "this is my adoptive mom". I wish there was an easy phrase to describe the relationship between the birthmom and adoptive mom. I just can't think of anything that fits.

I like your idea of referring to the expectant mom as just emom, sort of like people say DH. I don't have to say "my dh" all the time, people understand what I mean. It makes online discussion a lot easier. "So we met with emom/mmom tonight and..." I think in the future I'll use emom for any expectant mom, and matched mom for an expectant mom that we are matched with to avoid the "our emom" situation, and to avoid "the emom we are matched with" wordiness.
post #50 of 74
Whoa, Carrie, no way! I didn't look beyond the terminology page to be honest. So yeah, I guess not exactly *parent* friendly either, beyond a certain type! Good to catch that as well.

The main concern I have also with just "see the sticky" is that...I'm not sure how to put this into words. In some ways I think dialog is best. Because you do have people that kind of sniff/pooh pooh the whole thing as "Well, that's just PC, I don't really care about PC." When really it's anything BUT PC to the parents that respond. I have seen that time and time again as well. It's one thing to blow off adoptees and birthparents. To some degree, that can be expected, at least at first--and this isn't an all-triad board in actuality, it's for suppporting adoptive parents and foster parents, although there are many other-triad participants, to say nothing of the rather large group of multi-side-of-the-triad people that we have at MDC. But it gets a little disturbing to me when people dismiss other BTDT adoptive parents or ignore them.

After all, isn't dehumanizing or derrogator language, despite intent, a perfectly legitimate thing for other adoptive parents to comment on? I will totally admit that I am often very confused as to why some posts are considered "unwelcoming" and "not gentle" and others are. Since I tend to be relatively tactless (I'm at least trying to get better), I've tried to avoid commenting when there are others who can do it far better than I and might have a shot at being listened to since one couldn't call them an "angry adoptee" or whatever.

I don't think a sticky is going to solve the issue though, because it's just a sticky. It's not community. It's not a growing relationship. It's not dialog. And unless Lauren is going to smack down people who don't use the "right words" (which I sincerely hope will never happen), there's still going to be dialog about it. Personally I think the people who tend to read stickies are probably going to be the more "PC people" out there in the first place. And being told to look at a sticky in thread I'm sure is going to make people feel exactly how people having their threads moved to "personal growth" felt before the forum name was clarified--bad, perhaps chastised, and embarrassed.

Not exactly the most welcoming thing either.

So I guess I'm confused about the actual effect this will have. I totally support a sticky about language and the whys. But that in lieu of discussion with newbies being allowed? I don't think that it will work the way it might be intended. Perhaps I'm not parsing something correctly though.
post #51 of 74
just curious~ i checked out that link (and i agree, probably not the best one!) and the last word that was on the inappropriate list was "blood relative" and that "birth relative" should be used instead. anyone care to explain that one?
post #52 of 74
When I do my edits (within a couple of days), I'll add in something about not calling first parents any "birth parent" like terminology before the adoption, and the usefulness of "expectant parent" language.

If folks want, I could also add in some notations about language related to "making an adoption plan"/"choosing a family" (vs. "putting up your child"), etc. to address the stuff Lauren was trying to add in. Or ROM, perhaps you remember the link you had that Tigerchild liked??
post #53 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by koalove View Post
just curious~ i checked out that link (and i agree, probably not the best one!) and the last word that was on the inappropriate list was "blood relative" and that "birth relative" should be used instead. anyone care to explain that one?
I saw that too, and wasnt sure what the problem was. I decided it was either a desire to not "reduce" the birthfamily relationship to just one of blood (in the same way that some people dont like "biomom" and prefer "birthmom" because they feel it discounts the birth/afterbirth bonding...i usually use biomom when referring to my son's mother though,so i think it depends on the person(actually i usually just say "mother")...but given the tone of the site (which seems really proadoption) i thought perhaps it was to downplay the biological connection...since many people might ask "but...are you related by *blood*"...yknow "blood is thicker than water"...maybe it wants to not draw attention to the "blood" relationship. I dont know. I've never seen that one before.


Katherine
post #54 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
After all, isn't dehumanizing or derrogator language, despite intent, a perfectly legitimate thing for other adoptive parents to comment on? I will totally admit that I am often very confused as to why some posts are considered "unwelcoming" and "not gentle" and others are. Since I tend to be relatively tactless (I'm at least trying to get better), I've tried to avoid commenting when there are others who can do it far better than I and might have a shot at being listened to since one couldn't call them an "angry adoptee" or whatever.
Thats what is confusing to me....it seems that in any other forum here, if a new poster came and used language that many members felt was not acceptable/appropriate language to use, they wouldnt be told to be gentle, be understanding, etc...they of course would be expected to be respectful in their responses to that poster, but i thought the point of the discussion forum was to discuss. I think a sticky might be a good idea so that people know what the deal is ahead of time, but i dont think that means that we shouldnt comment on issues when we see them. Honestly, i would have a hard time biting my tongue, i think (though i usually try to wait and see if RoM will come along and say what i mean in a more concise, informative, and gentle way! )

FWIW, i dont think you are tactless AT ALL, i think you are one of those blunt people that tells it like it is. I've encountered a few posters in my online travels who have that type of personality, and i've grown to really appreciate the forthright nature of the posts. But thats just me!

Quote:
And being told to look at a sticky in thread I'm sure is going to make people feel exactly how people having their threads moved to "personal growth" felt before the forum name was clarified--bad, perhaps chastised, and embarrassed.
Thats kind of how i feel about it. Maybe others view "PMs" from mods differently, but i would feel like i was virtually called to the principal's office for a "friendly chat"...like i did something wrong. I remember once being asked to "edit" my post because someone was offended by something i wrote...i would have MUCH preferred if the offended person would have just posted that she was offended and why, and i could have responded with why i posted what i did and maybe we could have had a good discussion about it, and both of us would have come away with more understanding. Instead i removed my post and nothing got resolved, and honestly i was kind of pissed off.

So...if i was new to this forum, and used "bm" and someone PM'd me all special to tell me that wasnt ok, or worse, a mod PM'd me, i would feel really weird and embarrassed....but if i posted that, and there was a (friendly, respectful) discussion about it, i would get alot more out of that. but thats me. Maybe others feel differently.


Katherine
post #55 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post

I'd value people using PM or Report Post to make me aware of someone that might need some gentle guidance toward the sticky.
I think that's a REALLY good idea. I agree with kalkiwendy...sometimes the language used by newbies is understandable (given the newbieness), but still something that I feel needs to be addressed. If you'd be willing to do it in a gentle, moderator-friendly way, I think that might work out well.

And dang, Sierra, that was really well-written!
post #56 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by caro113 View Post
I lurk around these boards because I hope to adopt one day. But I was reading Paula's post about not posting for that sort of advice on here and I have to say that I completely understand where she is coming from. I have a hard time posting on other boards because of the way some people respond and it's kind of hurtful. I realize most people don't mean to be hurtful, but I think others do. That being said, though, I haven't really noticed that happening much on this board, but I don't read everything.

Here is my question though, what exactly is wrong with saying "our birthmom" in some situations? Of course she doesn't belong to anyone, but we say things like "my flight" and "Oh, that's my grocery store" without ever implying that they belong to us.
I realize I have no idea what I'm talking about, but I am curious. Obviously it has everything to do with the tone and how it is spoken and the context, but can't it be used without being disrespectful?

Oh yea, about abbreviating birthmom as "BM". We abbreviate breast milk as "BM" and that doesn't offend anyone ...
Kinda OT, but I know what you mean. At first glance, the "our" or "BM" don't seem disrespectful. But take a closer look at what you gave as examples for why it's normal....all of those things (flight/grocery store/breastmilk) are OBJECTS.

A birthmother is not an object...she's a person who has feelings, choices, and rights. And since she tends to be in (arguably) the least rosy position in the adoption triad, it's really sad when objectifying language is used by the people who are the the rosiest, most in-control position in the triad. We get the societal praise, we get the baby, we get the "win" in the long list of adoption losses...so I think we, as adoptive parents, need to be careful how much ownership we express over first parents, and how much an expectant mom is objectified. Behind the simple "our birthmom" statement could be nothing, OR could be "the production method for OUR baby" sort of sentiments. ICK!

As for BM...if it had never been used as a dual birthmom reference AND insult, then maybe it wouldn't be a problem. Thing is, in some forums and messages, it HAS been used as a way to refer to a birthmom in an insulting way. If you were a birthmom, and you'd seen it used as a "clever" way to put a birthmom down, would you want to see it used? Would you frequent a forum where its use was accepted? See what I mean? Yeah, it can also be used to refer to breastmilk, but I don't think any mean-spirited moms are using BM to put breastmilk down, nor do I think breastmilk is going to get hurt feelings.
post #57 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren View Post
Should we include this link in addition to Sierra's guide, in our sticky?

http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/resou...ion_terms.html

I'm kinda catching up to all this today.

I like some of these suggestions, but others seem odd for this forum. It doesn't seem like the kind of list where "first parent" would be acceptable, you know? It's just kinda conservative. Could we pick and choose which ones might be listed in a sticky in this forum, plus add others that are more acceptable in this forum?
post #58 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Awhile ago ROM linked to a more thorough site about terminology, which was pretty good...but it's been a very long time. :/
.

Oh suuuuuurrre, Kitty. Make ME go hunting through links! (I'm glad you commented, though...and koalove and phrogger and aliviasmom, too. REALLY glad. Koalove, I think "dc's emom" was a pretty great idea, if someone really needs an abbreviation for that concept.)
post #59 of 74
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
So I guess I'm confused about the actual effect this will have. I totally support a sticky about language and the whys. But that in lieu of discussion with newbies being allowed? I don't think that it will work the way it might be intended. Perhaps I'm not parsing something correctly though.
I think we're lucky to have lauren as our moderator...I think she'll probably do a really good job of gently guiding a person toward the sticky and better language. She's very good at getting people to listen and be respectful, and if a moderator (gently) asks a person to use respectful language, I think it has several good effects...1) the person knows it's a serious thing in this forum 2) the person knows that their participation is expected to be respectful, and knows more about how to be respectful 3) newbies might not be so embarrassed because they aren't called out publicly (and really, I think a lot of the huffiness comes from embarrassment by new OPs, not so much rudeness on the part of regular posters) and 4) it makes this forum feel a bit safer (not quite the right word, but I hope you know what I mean) for all of the moms and triad members here.

I don't think lauren would ever use a "smackdown" technique...just look at how she's handling THIS conversation. I think we (I ) have been too abrupt with newbies, and personally I feel like lauren would be a lot better at gentle guidance. That doesn't mean we all have to sit on our hands until the newbie starts being less offensive or using different language, but it DOES mean we know we can rely on our moderator to step in and offer newbies some guidance. I think that's a helpful resource.
post #60 of 74
For many people, a gentle private message from a moderator would be much preferred to a public calling out. People tend to pile on. Whether it's because they don't read all the previous posts before adding their own or because they really feel passionate, the effect is still the same.
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