Stork Central 1,114 Posted December 1, 2008 Report Share Posted December 1, 2008 Prospective adoptive parents should be forewarned that it is considered politically incorrect to refer to expectant mothers contemplating placement as "birthmothers" until or unless they have actually relinquished parental rights. This issue came to a head two years ago at a New York adoption conference which Pamela and Elizabeth attended: A Problem With the B Word. While this is not offensive to all, it is very important to some that we (as an adoption community) do not presuppose the outcome of any potential placement plan by labelling women in such a way that demeans their authority as the only verified parent during pregnancy. Those who are pregnant cannot legally make any permanent commitment to adoption until their baby is at least 2 days old, and their right to change their mind, if need be, should never be denied through coercive use of post-adoption language. Likewise, the child a prospective birthmom is carrying is not and should not be referred to "our baby" by prospective adopters until or unless the legal paperwork is completed that makes this possible. The term "firstmother" is also coming into vogue lately, but again, wouldn't necessarily be appropriate until a subsequent mom has been recognized by the courts. This also explains why Abrazo also seeks to refer to parents who are adopting as just that, in an effort to affirm that adopting isn't who or what you are, but rather, how our parents-in-waiting expect to achieve parenthood. Abrazo's staff is split on this issue, as is much of the adoption community; for years, we've used "birthparent" and "adoptive parent" as terms of respect and those are hard habits to break? but we think it's important enough to make newcomers aware of these sensitivities, out of respect for all. For more on this subject, and from the perspective of actual birthparents, click here. Quote Link to post Share on other sites
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