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The Birth Mother Dictionary: Terms for Women Considering Adoption

When reading about adoption, specifically about a birth mother like you, there are a ton of words that you can expect to hear that describe you and your situation. Juggling all of these terms for women considering adoption, especially when they can differ in meaning, can certainly be a challenge. Our highest priority as an adoption agency is taking care of birth mothers in every step of the Arizona adoption process, big or small. The way we choose to talk about adoption might not seem significant in the grand scheme of things, but the words we choose to describe ourselves and each other are incredibly important. Adoption Choices of Arizona wants to help you out by explaining the differences between some of these terms.

If you need adoption help now, please call or text us at 1-480-900-5520 or visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona.

Expectant Mothers and Expectant Women

One of the most common terms for a pregnant woman is expectant. An expectant mother or expectant woman is simply a woman who is expecting a child. Women who are expectant are also sometimes referred to simply as pregnant, which gets the point across as well. In the adoption world, however, an expectant mother carries an additional meaning as a woman who has not yet chosen adoption. This does not mean that an expectant woman cannot choose adoption, and it does not mean that she is not considering it as an option. It simply means that she has not yet decided on it.

Birth Mom and Birth Mother

In comparison with an expectant mother, a birth mother is also a pregnant woman who is going to be having a baby soon. The primary difference between birth mothers and expectant mothers is that a birth mother has already chosen to place her child up for adoption with the help of an adoption agency, such as Adoption Choices of Arizona. When a pregnant woman decides to start her adoption journey, she becomes a birth mom, and can be referred to as such for the rest of her life. This term is one of the most common terms you’ll find in written adoption materials, like our blogs!

Biological Mothers and Bio Moms

Bio moms, a shortened form of biological mothers, are also women who are pregnant and involved in the adoption process. Both bio mom and biological mother can be terms for women considering adoption. Biological in this scenario refers to the mother who gave birth to the child and is often used in contrast to an adoptive mother or adoptive family. Similar terms used in the same context might include a biological parent or bio parent, though these terms can also refer to the biological father of the child as well. These are all helpful terms to use when you want to refer to a child’s biological or genetic point of origin without putting down an adoptive family member.

The Words You Shouldn’t Use for Birth Mothers

The terms we use when referring to those involved in the adoption process are extremely important, and words have a profound impact on the world and the people around us. All of the terms we’ve mentioned thus far are more than alright to use in their proper contexts, but there are some terms for women considering adoption you may hear that can be incorrect and even harmful in some scenarios. For instance, referring to a biological mother as a natural mother is considered very improper in terms of adoption, as it implies that an adoptive mother is somehow an “unnatural” parent to her child. While it is true that an adoptive family may not be biologically related to their child through adoption, they are still loving and caring for the child the same way a biological family would. Adoption is an inclusive cultural phenomenon that brings families together, and it shouldn’t be faced with negative connotations like this.

The Words You Should Use for a Birth Mother

There are plenty of positive terms for women considering adoption that you can start using today to refer to yourself or another pregnant woman in your life that is looking into adoption. For any women that are looking to begin their adoption journey, Adoption Choices of Arizona would like to help turn you from an expectant mother to a birth mother. We offer many services and resources to birth mothers beyond explaining the terminology of adoption, from helping you with the required paperwork to finding you the financial assistance you need to cover things like housing, medical expenses, and transportation. If you are a birth mother in need, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are a prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!

Meet the AuthorJosh Drogemuller is a Senior at Grand Valley State University and has interests in writing and digital studies. A relative newcomer to the field of professional writing, Josh has spent the last eight years of his educational career honing his skills on the page. Josh is currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Writing. 

Living in the Midwest, Josh looks forward to long baseball games and longer sentences.