Potential adoptive parents: Wondering what to get “your” bm?

Dear Ms. Feverfew,

Over on Facebook (oh you evilness of evilness, you waster of precious time, you Facebook!!!) there’s a group just for “birthmom buds.” Some potential adoptive mother posted this question on the wall:

I have a question for birthmoms out there. I want to get a “birth day” gift for our bm when she delivers. We thought of putting together a gift basket of some things but wanted something sentimental too. Any ideas? ~ Gabrielle

Ooo! I have an idea. How about not calling her a “bm” for starters?  Nothing makes a mother feel like a big fat pile of poop more than being called one!!! And what does a “bm” deliver, after all? Now I know an expectant mother delivers a baby but I am still confus-ed as to what a “bm” delivers. A smaller pile of poop?

Another thing – you might want to possibly give your “bm” the gift of not claiming ownership, as in calling her “our bm.” How about “the mother of the child we are hoping to adopt” or something like that. Something more humanizing and more humane than “our bm.”

Even better, how about a basket full of parenting books and resources, some new fluffy receiving blankets, a check for oh, say, half the funds you have just shelled out to adopt her baby, and a huge hug as you whisper in her ear, you can do this – you are and can continue to be a good mother. Now that would be the greatest gift of all for “your bm” on her “birth day.”

Just a few thoughts on this lovely gray Friday in February.

Much love,


17 thoughts on “Potential adoptive parents: Wondering what to get “your” bm?

  1. I agree with you!

    “bm” is offensive and “OUR bm” or “our” ANYTHING is downright marginalizing. She is the child’s mother; period. She doesn’t “belong” to the prospective adoptive couple.

    • I know others have already drawn the parallels, but this talk of “our” birth mother sounds a lot like the master/slave relationships written about by Frederick Douglass and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

      I hope this particular PAP comes to her senses and understands how horrible it is to be called a “bm.”

  2. Amen, amen. I know that the intent is not malicious- prospective adoptive parents want to do SOMETHING. But a basket full of bath salts and some candles and a “Chicken Soup for the Adoption Triad’s Soul” is just plain insulting. What the prospective adoptive parents should do is give her the gift of 1) Time 2) Time alone with her child 3) Recognize her as the mother of that child through the entire process until those papers have been signed and her decision flly made. Same goes for social workers and well-meaning hospital staff.

    • A Life Being Lived – I have to agree with Linda on this one – PAPS need to learn how to stay out of the delivery room and far, far, FAR away from the hospital (as do social workers). One of the reasons they are encouraged to be there is because research has shown an expectant mother is much less likely to decide to parent if the “parents” are there with her.

      It is a terrible thing to realize how carefully planned and manipulated the whole “transaction” is….I don’t think many PAPs realize they are being played just as much as the expectant mothers. Maybe it is just my over-grown belief in people’s goodness, but I think that if many of these PAP truly realize the lifelong impact that adoption loss has on the child and the mother, there would be far fewer womb-fresh infant adoptions happening.

      What really “gets” me is that many of the expectant mothers who “make an adoption plan” are exactly the ones who would make the best mothers!!!! Instead of recognizing this, the adoption industry exploits these women’s hearts, breaking them down to the point where they believe they aren’t good enough to be a mother to their child and all they deserve is some crappy basket of goodies with a “sentimental” something or another in it to mark their child’s birthday.

      And yes, the PAP should give the expectant mother all the time in the world…like the next 18 years if that is what she decides.

  3. @ a Life being lived- “PAPS want to do something”??? Yeah, they sure do. Like get their greedy mitts on HER baby. They need to stay away from the hospital, and learn how dirty and coercive “pre-birth matching” schemes are. There IS malice involved whenever someone is involved in this garbage.

    These types, and the “birth” Mothers who support adoption should be ashamed of themselves.

    If my a Mom would have ever called my first mother a “BM” or “Our” birth mother, I would have given her a “dressing-down” like never before.

  4. I agree the intent may not be to be malicious but it is certainly used to put people in their place.
    I think that is actually worse than malice.
    They think these women are providing them with a sevice and that they desrved to be called sh*t.
    So not cool.

  5. I have an idea! Maybe give her the resources she needs to KEEP her baby, wow, what a notion! Or failing that, yeah the anti-deps are a good idea because when they realise the huge mistake they made then the mother can OD on them. It happens frequently enough.

    I detest that group with a passion. Never have I seen such blind and wilful ignorance. These people make me feel ill to my stomach, especially with the way they all treat the children involved. Like they are a new doll or puppy. It is a vile group that plays nicely into the hands of the adoption industry.

    • I don’t spend much time reading or following that group or their blog. I am always come away sobbing my eyes out for those sweet little babies and their could-have-been mothers. So many of those women have everything they need to be a successful parents – they just don’t see it. While I never celebrated the “miracle and blessing” of adoption, I do know what it feels like to have been convinced by my church, my friends, and my parents that I simply didn’t have what it takes to be a mother and I was “destroying” my daughter’s life by “selfishly” trying to parent her.

      I have a feeling when the adoption anesthesia finally wears off, those birthmom buds are going to be in tremendous amounts of pain, especially after they have so publicly declared their “love” of adoption and how they were “meant to be” a birth mother. Nothing any of us can say will change their minds now – all we can do is be their for them when they need help picking up the pieces in the future.

    • Yes, Cristy. I know it is shorthand and the PAP most likely did not mean anything negative about by it…but still the thought had to have crossed her mind at least once, right? BM = bowel movement = BM = birth mother = equals I think I feel very sick to my stomach for that poor woman who is about to hand her baby over to another person who holds her in the same esteem as a bodily function.

      And if the thought never crossed her mind, then she really does have her head in the sand.

  6. Something like

    “Dear “birth mom”,

    we would love to raise your baby as a bunch of fake parents, and we know that we are the second best people in the world to do so but for the sake of your baby, we already really love, spare the baby, yourself and us all the trouble, and come to your senses at once and let your baby keep its real mother. If not we would accept your baby as our own, afraid to tell one day how in spite of all we did, real mother did not want to accept her baby. We try to be decent, but cannot raise a child with fairy tales, because we would do our utmost to prevent repetition of the horror you are about to commit.

    In case you know a kid really without family, would you be so good to tell us about it? We are quite willing to give a child a family, but know that your baby has already one.

    With respect, shame and jealousy,

    some honest decent folks who would like to become Legal Fictional parents”

    Which is why honest decent folks have trouble finding adoptable babies.

    • “Which is why honest decent folks have trouble finding adoptable babies.”

      Exactly. I would *LOVE* to have more children but my body has said in no uncertain terms NO. People have said, “Oh – you can just adopt another baby!” Uh…no, I can’t for all the reasons you just outlined. And how could I ever look myself in the mirror again if I were to do to another mother what was done to me, simply because *I* want more children?

  7. If you allow this free poet

    You’ve already born four,
    and still would wish for more?
    Is’t strength, speaking here
    or is it a scar, as I fear,
    the scarring while law says no,
    from my nearest kin I know,
    with the law in support,
    my imagination falls short,
    out of your family as well,
    leaves me with naught to tell,
    and still so beautiful and strong,
    with knowing of right and wrong,
    very humble I have to say
    t’blog seems to be healing in every way
    so I wish lots of luck and blessing for you,
    your four children and the husband too

    • Thank you for your kind wishes!

      And yes, large families run in my blood. I come from a family of 12, and I many of my maternal relatives have 10+ children. I love being a parent but not enough to take a baby from another woman who would be a perfectly fine mother with a bit of support.

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