a separate day underlines the distinction made by society that
we are no longer mothers, and that in their eyes we do not have
the right to be recognized and honoured as mothers on Mothers
Day. This distinction was obvious in the language of the adoption
industry. On the previous website of the National Adoption Information
Clearinghouse website (http://www.calib.com/naic/),
adoptive parents were called "parents;" and we, on the
other hand, were relegated to being "birth relatives"
- not acknowledged as parents at all. A similar distinction is
evident in the industry-created "Respectful
Adoption Language." Parents are mothers and fathers,
and only adoptive parents are seen to be parents. whereas we are
seen by the adoption industry to be only "biological acquaintances"
(to quote Dr. Laura). In saying that we are not parents, the industry
tells us that we are not our children's mothers.
term "birthmother" was coined to tell natural mothers,
"You were a mother at his/her birth, but are
a mother no longer." They are relegating us to being gene
donors, walking uteri, and temporary ovens. This is not just semantic
quibble, it is clearly shown in the actions of the adoption industry
and adopters. Many mothers who were treated as "special angels"
by agencies and prospective adopters during their pregnancies
are then tossed away like so much garbage after the surrender
of their babies... once they have "served their purpose."
for one, will be boycotting "Birthmothers Day." In my opinion,
events such as "birthmother healing workshops" are extremely insulting
to all of us who have lost children through force, false promises,
or coercion to the adoption industry. How can healing take
place when we are still separated from our children - either physically,
socially, or legally?
adoptive parents organizing "Birthmothers Day celebrations"?
This may be done in good faith, but would South African blacks
under the Apartheid regime have been interested in celebrating
an "Apartheid Day" organized by white people who had the rights
that they were denied? Same abuse of human rights, taken
away via a government-sanctioned system. Same legalized inequality
(we lost our children and our legal right to parent when we were
forced/coerced to sign or when our parents signed for us). Same
segregation (we still have no legal right, even in "open
adoption," to see our children once the separation occurs).
Can you imagine healing workshops for Blacks to help them accept
the abuse of their rights? To help them tolerate and live with
the Apartheid status quo?
have been inspired by those brave women who have the goal of "Eliminate
the damage from adoption to us, our children, and our relationships
with them." Those mothers who have achieved it are those
who have been able to adopt back their children, whose children
call them "Mom" and treat them as a full parent equal to the adopters,
and that incredible woman whose son said after many years of reunion,
"Mom, I'm no longer an adoptee." These are the women who
are achieving true healing from the damage that the adoption industry
has done to us and our children. These are the adoptees who are
no longer adoptees but who are full, beloved, members of their
son and I (he is 21, I am 38) have been reunited now for almost
two years. When I first wrote this article, I did not think I
might ever achieve these goals. Now, I know that we are on the
road to achieving them. My son knows the truth: that I was forced
to surrender him. That I am still his mother, his natural mother
- not his "incubator" nor his "birthmother."
My house is his home. He calls me "Mom" and means it.
He agrees with me that when he is with his natural family, he
is "no longer an adoptee." And we love each other deeply
as mother and son.
I hope for laws to change in my jurisdiction so that I may adopt
him back as my legal son. I hope to see government laws change
so that ALL of us who were forced to surrender our babies through
force and coercion can adopt them back, redressing the abuse of
our human rights. My own rights were violated when the social
worker and the hospital took my newborn son from me because I
was 17 years old and unmarried, and the social worker had customers
Only then, when my son is back in my life as my son and I as his
Mother AND "Mom" and legal parent - and neither of us is still
suffering, hurt, or scarred from being separated - only then we
will both be healed.
instead of "Birthmothers Day", I would like to suggest
that we mark a day to recognize a hope for all natural families
who were separated by forced/coerced adoption to be reunited,
for natural parents to be reunited again with our children as
true families in all senses of the word, including legal. I'd
like to propose an "Elimination of Adoption-Forced Separation