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June 15, 2008

Comments

Misty

I'm really big on the term "birth father/mother". My little one has only known my husband and I as his mom and dad. Am I selfish? Yes. Jealous? Maybe. We recently had a situation with our little one's birthfather (jail, abusive to birthmom...) and he started understanding my protective feelings towards our son.
I agree, people don't talk a lot about men's roles. At church they are starting to really talk more about fathers and I've really enjoyed it.

Misty

oops, in my post I meant to say that my HUSBAND now understands my protective feelings towards our son.

Lisa V

Misty, there are first/birth parents who think the term "birth" demeans their role in a child's life. They find term offensive because of it. There are others who are comfortable with it.

I've seen the term "first" and "natural" used in alternate. I have no problem with either term. Natural to mean would mean the person one is born to, since it is out of the norm that a child is raised by different parents. In no way do I think that would mean an adoptive parent was unnatural. Likewise the term "first" makes sense because chronilogically they were the first parents, and we were the second. I don't think it diminishes the adoptive parents role, it's logical if you think about it.

As for what my children call us, yes you are right that we are the only mom and dad. Our children refer to all their first parents by their first names.

One thing I want to point out is that every adoptive parent and birth parent is at a different place in their journey. When Mallory was little I likely would've likely perceived "first" or "natural" as negative to my role as a parent. Now, I'm pretty secure in the fact that we can all be parents in whatever way it is comfortable, and the naming of those roles is no big deal. If Mallory wanted to call Noelle "Mom" I would be fine.

I commonly use birth in every day language because it is shorthand for people to understand the relational ties to my children.

Clover

Birth or first seem similar to me and okay from the adoptive parents' perspective. I have a really hard time with natural, because it implies unnatural for the adoptive parent. Its like that SAT section where you have to come up with synonyms/antonyms. When I think birth parent, then I think adoptive parent, which is fine. When I think first parent, I think second parent, which is a little weird to me, but when you think of it in chronological terms, okay fine. When I think natural parent, I can't help but think "unnatural" and I'm so not okay with that. I understand that adoption communities have historically been insensitive to the needs of birth/first parents, but I think using "natural" is just not something I could ever imagine being comfortable with.
Of course, this is all hypothetical thinking out loud and not my daily life, as our circumstances are quite different.

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