Thursday, May 2, 2019
BIRTHMOTHER’S DAY – MAY 4, 2019
Do you ever think about the women who give birth to but do not raise the child? Do you assume that making that decision was easy? That walking away ended that mother/child relationship? The reality is that many women who don’t live with the child, think about them often. They wonder where they are, what they are doing and if they are healthy and happy. As well as, if they made the right choice.
Do you ever wonder about or ask an adopted child if they think about their birth mother? Most adopted children do. Talking about it gives the parent who is raising them a chance to help them integrate their nature and nurture and to provide accurate information.
Birthmother’ Day was created in Seattle, Washington many years ago by a group of women with the goal of honoring, remembering and providing education. This year it is MAY 4th.
Is there something you can do with your child to honor, remember and educate? YES. First, talk about their birthmother. Depending on their age, you will decide how much information to provide. You can use whatever language you feel is best – her name, the lady who’s belly you were in, your birthmother, etc. Reaffirm the importance they played in your and your child’s life.
If you have no contact, you or your child could still write a letter to her. It can be “sent to the universe” as a message in a bottle or tied to a helium balloon (although some worry about the environmental impact). You can mail it to the attorney or agency you worked with and ask them to pass it along or to hold it in case it is ever requested. If you do have contact, it’s a great day to reach out. A letter, a card, a phone call or other expression of gratitude is nice. An update of how a child is doing with photographs is always appreciated. You could celebrate with a special cupcake or cake to honor the day.
Mother’s Day is around the corner. Some choose to celebrate mothers and birthmothers on the same day, recognizing that there were two mothers involved. That one may play the major day-to-day role in parenting while another was there are the beginning. Remembering a child’s birthmother takes strength and recognition of a child’s emotional and psychological needs. Reaffirming her existence does not negate an adoptive parent’s role. In fact, it may strengthen the parent/child bond. A child will know they can talk about adoption. They can ask and raise questions. That it is a safe place where they can explore and learn.
Birthmother’s Day is celebrated the week before Mother’s Day. It is a weekend celebration of the women who brought children into the world and are not raising them. It is proof that nature and nurture both play an important role in who children will become.
Kathy Ann Brodsky, LCSW is a New York and New Jersey licensed social worker, adoptive mom and advocate for ethical adoption practice. Through her private practice and agency affiliations, she has prepared thousands of adoption homestudies, counseled expectant, birth, pre/post adoptive parents and adopted persons, as well as trained professionals to work with adoptive families. She was Director of the Ametz Adoption Program of JCCA and a member of the Advisory Board for POV’s Adoption Series and the Adoption Advisory Board of Path2Parenthood, She is currently a Adoption Professional Advisory Council of HelpUSAdopt , a member of the Advisory Board of the Family Equality Council and active in the Adoptive Parents Committee in New York. Her blogs and written contributions can be seen throughout the Internet, including her BLOG and as Head Writer for ADOPTION.NET She was named an “Angel in Adoption” by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption in 2001. You can reach her directly EMAIL