Birth Mother Blog

Important Adoption Terms to Know During Your Unplanned Pregnancy

There’s an old children’s rhyme that goes, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.” Except that, sometimes, words can hurt us. Words can hurt when people repeatedly say your name wrong or don’t even bother to learn your correct pronouns. That’s how some women or adoptive families feel during the adoption process when they are called by the wrong title. What an awkward social faux-pas! It’s important to make sure that we are using the right language to refer to people, especially when it comes to adoption. We want to refer to people correctly so that we can be as inclusive as possible. It is important to us that everyone from all walks of life feels welcome at our adoption agency. That is precisely why Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you navigate this new and exciting vocabulary and learn what are the important adoption terms being used today.

How Adoption Agencies in Missouri Distinguish Between the Different Terms Used for a Birth Mother

  1. Pregnant Woman. In the world of adoption, the term pregnant woman refers to any woman who is pregnant and considering adoption. While she may be considering placing her baby for adoption, she has not yet fully chosen adoption as her pregnancy option. She may be considering this quietly to herself, or she may have already confided in a few people she trusts. The important thing to know is that a pregnant woman is still weighing her options and considering adoption.
  2. Expectant Mother. When it comes to adoption, an expectant mother is a woman who is pregnant but is not yet considering adoption. The thought of adoption may have crossed her mind as she looked into her pregnancy options, but she is not seriously considering placing her baby for adoption yet.
  3. Biological Mom. Most commonly referred to in surrogacy cases, a biological mom is one of the parents from whom the baby receives half of his or her DNA. This may or may not also be the mom who is giving birth. Sometimes in adoptions, the birth mother also likes to be referred to as a biological mom. After all, it is technically correct and does have a nice superhero ring to it. Is that a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Bio Mom!
  4. Birth Mother. A birth mother is a pregnant woman who has already chosen adoption and is ready to begin her adoption journey. She has explored all of her pregnancy options and decided that adoption is the best course of action for her and her baby. If you are a birth mother who has chosen adoption, all you have to do now is contact our adoption agency so that we can help you begin making your adoption plan.

Why It Is Important to Know the Subtle Differences Between Each Term When Placing Your Baby for Adoption in Missouri

Some seemingly innocuous names used to refer to birth mothers or biological moms can actually feel negative or harmful to them or the adoptive families. Words like, “natural parent,” “real parents,” or “real mom” imply that the adoptive family is unnatural or isn’t a real family, and that is simply not the case. It is best to prevent offending or hurting anyone by avoiding these phrases altogether.

We understand the importance of making sure that everyone feels valued and included. That is why we like to say that our birth mothers place their baby for adoption versus giving up their baby for adoption. Remember, you are never “giving up” when you choose adoption. Adoption is a selfless act of love by sacrificing your parenthood in order to give your baby the best opportunities in life.

If you choose open adoption as your type of adoption, it is crucial to make sure that you actively continue to use the right nomenclature so that no one gets upset or hurt. You, your baby, and the adoptive family will be in each other’s lives for a long time, so it’s important that you start your relationship together off right. It is important that we are clear and direct in the language we use so that everyone feels welcome, like one big, happy family.

By using exact and meaningful vocabulary to refer to people, we can avoid making someone feel left out. Especially if that someone is you, your child, or a member of your child’s adoptive family.

If You Are Considering Adoption, Don’t Wait to Call Our Missouri Adoption Agency Today to Receive Unplanned Pregnancy Help

Maybe you are an expectant mother who was not considering adoption until you found this article. Perhaps you are a pregnant woman who has not yet chosen adoption but is interested in learning more. Or maybe you are a biological mom or birth mother who has chosen adoption and is ready to begin your adoption process. No matter what step of your adoption journey you are on, Adoption Choices of Missouri is ready and waiting to help assist you. Our adoption caseworkers are on standby to begin working on your behalf. Contact us today so that we can begin helping you with your adoption plan as soon as possible.

Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll-free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at 1-816-527-9800

Meet the Author: Kelly Felix is a graduate from the University of New Orleans. She holds a BA in English as well as a BA in Sociology. Her English concentration is in journalism, and her specialties in sociology are gender studies and environmental sociology.

When she isn’t voraciously guzzling coffee or devouring books, Kelly can be found either bent over a canvas working on her art or at her computer playing video games. She has hands-on classroom teaching experience from her time working as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services. Kelly also completed an in-house editorial internship at Pelican Publishing Company, and she finished the goal internship program at Green Light New Orleans. Kelly generally exists in a state of suspended disbelief, but when she’s not there she resides in New Orleans.