Anyone else a little bugged by the use of "bio-mom" in this forum? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 79 Old 10-22-2005, 02:08 AM
 
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birthmother - biomom - bm

is a term that was started by the adoption industry to minimize the connection between mother and child.

it bothers me too.

heres an article on the origin of those words, its no wonder why it bothers you, i wouldn't like to be refered to it even if i'd surrendered a child.

why birthmother means breeder
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#62 of 79 Old 10-22-2005, 01:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sitara
birthmother - biomom - bm

is a term that was started by the adoption industry to minimize the connection between mother and child.

it bothers me too.

heres an article on the origin of those words, its no wonder why it bothers you, i wouldn't like to be refered to it even if i'd surrendered a child.

why birthmother means breeder
Did you post that simply to stir the pot? Seriously.

That article was terrible, rude and plain disrespectful to SOO many people....

This is an article of someone's opinion, not the origin of the term.
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#63 of 79 Old 10-22-2005, 03:50 PM
 
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If you ask me...a name can have any meaning...depending on how the tone of voice of the person says it. Your tone could be discust, admiration, as a matter of fact, etc. Also, considering who the word is coming from could make a big difference on the word.

Take the word stepmother. When I introduce myself as my children's stepmother, I say it as if I should be priviledged (probably spelled wrong) to be their stepmother. When their mother says the word stepmother, she says it in such a hateful way that makes it a bad word right up there with the words you better not catch your children saying.

That goes with bio-mom, natural-mom, fake-mom, real-mom, etc.
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#64 of 79 Old 10-22-2005, 04:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by stressedstepmom
If you ask me...a name can have any meaning...depending on how the tone of voice of the person says it. Your tone could be discust, admiration, as a matter of fact, etc. Also, considering who the word is coming from could make a big difference on the word.

Take the word stepmother. When I introduce myself as my children's stepmother, I say it as if I should be priviledged (probably spelled wrong) to be their stepmother. When their mother says the word stepmother, she says it in such a hateful way that makes it a bad word right up there with the words you better not catch your children saying.

That goes with bio-mom, natural-mom, fake-mom, real-mom, etc.
Excellent point!

I read part of this thread earlier this morning....
One thing....I don't think a step parent should ever refer to the child's mother as a bio mom. It should be so and so's mom.

If the mom is totally out of the picture and has absolutely nothing to do with the child (like most children who are adopted) then the title of bio mom would fit since someone else is being the mother. Bio mom to most people means the person who gave birth to the child and has had no part in the child's life. To refer to a child's mother who actually is in the child's life as a bio mom seems to be an insult to that mother. It would be to me, but maybe I am overly sensitive.

I personally see the term bio mom as something beautiful for it's true meaning. A woman who produced another life.... and in many cases gave someone who couldn't have children the joy of being a mother.
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#65 of 79 Old 10-23-2005, 03:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
Did you post that simply to stir the pot? Seriously.

That article was terrible, rude and plain disrespectful to SOO many people....

This is an article of someone's opinion, not the origin of the term.
Actually, I found it to be well written combination of factual reporting (the origin of the terms) and opinion (the motivation behind the construction of the term.) You don't have to like it and you're free to disagree, but stating that it's "disrespectful" just skips over the point of the article, which is that the term "birthmother" as it relates to adoption and biological mothers is reductionist and disrespectful to those women.

To turn the coin on it's head, if the term "birthmother" was replaced in American English with the term more often used in Ireland, which is "natural mother" I suspect a lot of adoptive parents would find it offensive - "So what does that make me, an unnatural mother?"

For me, the problem is that all language is heavily weighted with subtle meanings, assumptions and prejudices. There really is no unburdened language among the roles of adoption or even step-parenting. We all need better words to describe the various roles adults play in the lives of children and families.
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#66 of 79 Old 10-23-2005, 02:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Hells_Belle
disrespectful to those women.

To turn the coin on it's head, if the term "birthmother" was replaced in American English with the term more often used in Ireland, which is "natural mother" I suspect a lot of adoptive parents would find it offensive - "So what does that make me, an unnatural mother?"
First off, I am one of THOSE WOMEN. I gave a child up for adoption, and STILL enjoy the term birthmother. I am a PROUD brithmother, and happy to be a BIRTHMOTHER. (oh, and I am still in her life, so don't go giving me crap about just giving birth and no longer being around).

Secondly, IIIIIIIIII find offense to the term 'natural mother', there's nothing UNnatural about the woman who's raising my birthdaughter. She was everything I couldn't be....

Maybe you should THINK before posting some things. If you are NOT a woman who's placed a child, you have NO CLUE what you're talking about, so PLEASE stop making assumptions....
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#67 of 79 Old 10-23-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
First off, I am one of THOSE WOMEN. I gave a child up for adoption, and STILL enjoy the term birthmother. I am a PROUD brithmother, and happy to be a BIRTHMOTHER.
And I honour you as a birthmother. I think it takes tremendous courage and strength to make that choice. I meant no disrespect.

I do think you perhaps took my use of the phrase "those women" out of context. I didn't mean it in a condecending or sneering way. I'm sorry if you read it that way, or if I'm just not understanding what you're saying.

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(oh, and I am still in her life, so don't go giving me crap about just giving birth and no longer being around).
Wow, I have no idea why you'd make that assumption about me. I would never, ever say anything like that to a birthmother. I have nothing but empathy for women who make this difficult choice.

Is it possible you're misreading my distaste for the actual words "birth mother" with some sort of dislike for women who give their children up for adoption?

Quote:
Secondly, IIIIIIIIII find offense to the term 'natural mother', there's nothing UNnatural about the woman who's raising my birthdaughter. She was everything I couldn't be....
OK, that's a perfectly legitimate POV. I think we're all more comfortable with the language of our own cultures; because I was supporting my DH in his reunion with his Irish birth mother, used Irish resources to research the best path, and live in Ireland, "natural mother" is the term I use. It's the term that has been selected by Adoption Ireland, the lobbying group of adult adoptees and mothers in Ireland. Therefore, I it is the term I use.

Quote:
Maybe you should THINK before posting some things. If you are NOT a woman who's placed a child, you have NO CLUE what you're talking about, so PLEASE stop making assumptions....
But I wasn't making assumptions, or I don't think I was. I think, actually, that you've made rather a lot of assumptions about me. I certainly wasn't attacking you or any other woman who's child has been adopted. I really thought this was a conversation about language, not about the value of any of the parties involved in adoption.
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#68 of 79 Old 10-23-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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I am an adoptee. I was given life by one sister and the other sister adopted and raised me. I did not know of this until I was 19 yrs old. My birth mother was always known to me as "Aunt" which really was HER decision, believe it or not.

My adoptive parents are the ones who were my PARENTS. They took care of me, nursed me when sick, provided for my needs, and were there when I needed them. Although my (now deceased) birth mother has a place in my heart and I am grateful to her for her unselfishness at making sure my needs came before her wants, my adoptive mother is the one I call "Mom". She became my mother as if she had given me life herself.

I think "bio mom" or "birth mom" is not meant in a derogatory manner, unless you intend or say it that way.
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#69 of 79 Old 10-23-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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I think the term "natural mother" is one even more heavily loaded than bio-mom or birth-mom. Simply because modern patriarchal society (particularly in the UK) puts so much pressure upon women to abort or raise their children themselves, it is perceived that for a woman to choose not to raise her child is unnatural and unwomanly- ignoring the fact that there are precedents in every culture and every time period. It feels like an insult, when I hear it used.

Helen mum to five and mistress of mess and mayhem, making merry and mischief til the sun goes down.
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#70 of 79 Old 10-23-2005, 11:01 PM
 
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I think we can all agree that it's not so much the word, but how it's pronounced and what stress is put upon it in a sentence.

Take the words half-sister. I have 3 sisters that don't share a father with me. While I was growing up, if I was happy with them, I just called them my sisters. When I was mad at one I would refer to her as my "half-sister". I considered that to be a bad term. I didn't want anyone to think I was 100% blood related to this sister when I was mad. That 50% made all the difference in the world.

Now, it means nothing to me and the "half part only comes out when people question why we look nothing alike.

My son has a half brother and two half sister, a step-brother and a step-sister. I call them all his brothers and sisters. There are times when someone looks puzzled at me because they know I only gave birth to one child. That's the only time I explain the steps and halves.

Typing on here makes it very difficult for someone to get their point across unless they use the little faces to let you know exactly how they meant to say something.

It's very hard to joke around or distinct funny sarcasm with offensive sarcasm, etc.
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#71 of 79 Old 10-24-2005, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hells_Belle

Is it possible you're misreading my distaste for the actual words "birth mother" with some sort of dislike for women who give their children up for adoption?
Possible, however, that article, IMO, oozed with nastiness towards any woman who considered herself a 'birthmother'. It seemed one in the same to me.


Quote:
OK, that's a perfectly legitimate POV. I think we're all more comfortable with the language of our own cultures; because I was supporting my DH in his reunion with his Irish birth mother, used Irish resources to research the best path, and live in Ireland, "natural mother" is the term I use. It's the term that has been selected by Adoption Ireland, the lobbying group of adult adoptees and mothers in Ireland. Therefore, I it is the term I use.
I'm sorry, I'm not in Ireland and know nothing of Irish cultures. I'm a PROUD American birthmother.



That article mentioned how 'birthmother' was used to describe a woman who was only around for babies birth, and isn't a part of baby or baby's life (whether in open adoption as a child, or reunited as an adult). So honestly, linking to that article really made me think you REALLY thought of birthmothers to be these women who just drop off their kids and never think of them again. (hence the article about birthmother meaning 'breeder'), well, if I CALL MYSELF birthmother, maybe I thought YOU mistook that as 'breeder'..

I don't mean it derogatory... It's one of the most loving words I have in my vocabulary... It's respectful, loving and considerate to me..

So, taking that into consideration, why is it BAD that I call dss's biomom that? (birthmother is longer to type than biomom, but it's one in the same)
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#72 of 79 Old 10-25-2005, 08:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
So honestly, linking to that article really made me think you REALLY thought of birthmothers to be these women who just drop off their kids and never think of them again. (hence the article about birthmother meaning 'breeder'), well, if I CALL MYSELF birthmother, maybe I thought YOU mistook that as 'breeder'..
But I didn't link to that article! I think Sitara did. I was only explaining my reading of it after I followed the link: part etemology (the origins of the term) and part editorial (the author's own view of it.) My interpretation was that the author didn't consider birthmothers to be women who birthed children, dropped them off, and never though of them again, but that she thinks the term "birth mother" atrificially constructed them as such. IE, she objects to the term, not the women. Your reading, clearly, led you to a different conclusion.

I, personally, don't like the term. If you're happy to claim it for yourself, though, I've certainly got no beef with that.

OK, glad we cleared that up...
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#73 of 79 Old 10-25-2005, 01:49 PM
 
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What I'm saying is that, the article didn't see birthmothers as breeders, however people who call birthmothers 'birthmothers' are insinuating they're simply 'breeders', so if I call myself birthmother, I must be a.... 'breeder'? That's how I'm feeling, and quite frankly, it's nauseating..

I do think the link was posted simply to stir the pot, and well, it's be stirred.
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#74 of 79 Old 10-25-2005, 02:18 PM
 
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Considering the person who posted the link has several anti-adoption posts, I think stirring the pot was definately the intent.
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#75 of 79 Old 10-25-2005, 02:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by djs_girl517
Considering the person who posted the link has several anti-adoption posts, I think stirring the pot was definately the intent.
Thanks for that!! I didn't know about the poster or anything, but honestly just appreciate knowing that someone else thought that as the intention!
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#76 of 79 Old 10-29-2005, 03:39 AM
 
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Absolutly NOT!

I posted that article, because I am insulted when someone refers to my mother ( the woman who surrendered me ) as a birthmother. biomother etc. As if she was only there to birth me, and then went on with herself. As if she was only there for the birth. When infact she loves me deeply, and cried many nights to sleep due to our separation.

The article doesn't just show an opinion. The author researched the origin of the term, and there is truth in that. "birthmother" may have developed a new meaning to some who use it, but its origin is shady, and that is why I find it offensive.

The site that article is posted on, empowers mothers who have surrendered to stand up for themselves because many weren't given a choice in the beginning. Not to let agencies diminish their connection with their children in order to profit off of another adoption.

I'm sorry to have offended you. It was NOT my intention AT ALL. And i NEVER tried to STIR THE POT.
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#77 of 79 Old 10-29-2005, 03:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by djs_girl517
Considering the person who posted the link has several anti-adoption posts, I think stirring the pot was definately the intent.

And I do not have SEVERAL anti adoption posts.....

I've only posted about adoption on this site in the last week or so in one other thread. My main reason for coming to this site has NOTHING to do with adoption at all. I don't come here to stir the pot, i've ALWAYS remained respectful when posting, and didn't think this would "tick people off."

I think you should do more homework on someone before you make a judgement such as the one above on me. :
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#78 of 79 Old 10-31-2005, 12:22 AM
 
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To be honest, I myself would feel more comfortable if you left adoption stuff to the adoption board (such as your issues with the term birthmother WHEN REFERRING TO a woman who has placed for adoption)...

This is the BLENDED FAMILIES board, and we're NOT referring to the term birthmother in the same way you are...

(although both terms apply to me, and I see nothing wrong with EITHER)
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#79 of 79 Old 11-02-2005, 11:50 AM
 
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Came in on this late...

As far as the original question goes (not what it ended up becoming), I just call my SS's mom his mom. As in "your mom's coming to pick you up in 10 mins, please start gathering your stuff", or "my SS's mom is taking tae kwon do classes with him". I would not call her his bio mom or birth mom, that would just sound weird to me. Not offensive, just weird I dunno if it makes a difference that I have known her since before she was pregnant with him or not.

He calls me his stepmom to others, Amy (my name) to me.
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