I was reading some of my other groups this morning while I had coffee. The topic of Birthmother's Day was a hot conversation. For anyone who doesn't know what that is; it's a celebration done the day before Mother's Day each year to celebrate birthmothers. The CCNM (Canadian Council of Natural Mothers) put out a statement in 2000 that sums it up really well:
Day perpetuates our marginalization as second-class mothers. To understand how
first mothers feel, imagine the furor which would ensue if the adoption
community were to imagine an "Adoptive Mothers Day"? The motherhood celebrated
on Birthmothers Day is marked for difference, and that difference is lesser than
the motherhood attributed to a "real" mother. Birthmothers Day testifies to the
continuing self-image that we are "not our child’s real mother."
The fact is
that the adoptee has two mothers, both equally real. As such, both first mothers
and adoptive mothers are equally entitled to claim the real Mothers Day as their
own. To relinquish that day as belonging more rightfully the adoptive mother,
instead of claiming it as our own too, does nothing to promote our rights. It
merely makes us look still "shamed".
We want to
promote pride in being a birthmother, not because we did something noble by
surrendering our children to adoption as we have seen above, but because we are
survivors who looked horror and grief squarely in the face and have reclaimed
So if you know a birth or first mom please be sensitive to her feelings this coming Mother's Day. You may mean well wishing her a happy birthmother's day but she may not agree.