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Friday, November 23, 2012

NaBloPoMo Day 23: What Should we Call People Connected to Adoption?

Today's blogging prompt is about terminology--more specifically--what each person connected to adoption ought to be called.  Some might call this semantics.  Personally, I feel how an individual or a group identifies themselves is more important than that.  The words you use to refer to a person or group can mean the difference between hurling and insult or giving respect.  So what do I think people should call the various individuals connected to adoption?

The prompt: What do you call your natural/first/birth/biological mother/father/family? Why? Are there different rules for different family members? What term(s) is not acceptable to you? How do you refer to them to others? If you're in reunion, do you introduce them the same way? How does your natural/first/birth/biological mother family feel about the term? Does it matter to them? What about your adoptive family? Do you use a qualifier when speaking about them? If not always but sometimes, when do you use it?"

My rule of thumb is that I always refer to someone and their loved ones in the way they wish and in the way they feel that they are most respected.  While I am not a fan of the term "birth mother," this includes the "birth mother" term.  It is not up to me to undermine someone elses' thought processes and the meaning they place on an event, and their role in it, in their lives.  I refer to people how they would like to be referred to.  After all, how can I expect that same courtesy if I don't extend it to others?