Expectant Parent Call 480-900-5520 Text 602-922-0408 Or 602-922-0401
Para español 888-222-8702
Adoptive Parent Call 480-999-4310
Serving Expectant Parents Statewide With Offices located in:
Phoenix | Flagstaff | Tuscon

What’s the Difference between an Expectant Mother and a Birth Mother?

The world of adoption can feel overwhelming and sometimes foreign, with lots of terminology you might not be familiar with. Fortunately, there are resources available to help you understand adoption and some of the language that comes along with it. 

At Adoption Choices of Arizona, we are dedicated to helping you along every step of the way when it comes to deciding if adoption is right for you. While this traditionally entails providing you with necessary paperwork and helping you throughout the pregnancy, it also means that we want to make sure you know everything you need to know about adoption. 

If you have a lot of questions, such as what the difference between an expectant mother and a birth mother is, then we’re here to help explain it to you.

Help with Adoption Terminology

The difference between an expectant mother and a birth mother is an important distinction. We use it to explain what part of the adoption process a mother is currently in. The term “expectant mother” is used to describe a pregnant woman who has not yet given birth to her child. If you are currently pregnant and considering adoption, but haven’t given birth yet, then you are an expectant mother. On the other hand, the term “birth mother” specifically refers to a mother who has already given birth to her child and has agreed upon giving the child to their future adoptive family.

As you can see, these two are not the same, because they refer to two different stages in the adoption process. However, these terms are sometimes used interchangeably to simply refer to a mother considering adoption or one who is currently going through the adoption process for her and her child. Birth mother is more broadly used within the adoption world to refer to women going through the adoption process, and has become somewhat of an industry standard. Yet, it is important to know the difference and shouldn’t be taken as a concrete rule when reading resources or information provided by an official agency, such as Adoption Choices of Arizona, or anyone else. The words we choose to use are important, but so is the context surrounding them.

Why is an Expectant Mother different from a Birth Mother?

For Adoption Choices of Arizona, our goal is to turn expectant mothers into birth mothers if they are currently considering adoption for their child. An expectant mother might not necessarily be choosing adoption at the outset of her pregnancy, because all mothers are expectant when pregnant, regardless of what they choose to do with their child. If you believe that you will be unfit to take care of your child for any reason, from economic hardship to other general struggles with life, then you can choose to place your child with another family through adoption. This, in turn, gives your child the brightest possible future in your situation, and shows a great deal of care and compassion for them.

These terms, much like our roles in helping you through the adoption process, are centered around creating a better understanding of your personal situation. Our job is to help you navigate the adoption process step-by-step, giving you the information and insight you need to have a great experience with adoption. Part of that dedication is to make sure you understand some of the things you might not be so familiar with, from the terminology to the legal process. This also includes some of the paperwork that the adoption requires, too. We’ll make sure you have all the resources available to you.

The Difference Between an Expectant Mother and a Birth Mother

Ultimately, there is a common unifying theme between the terms expectant mother and birth mother, which is that having a child will always mean you are a mother, no matter what happens to them. Even if he or she goes to another family through the process of adoption, you will always be their birth mother. If you choose to have a relationship with them in the future, this is an integral connection that you share with your child that no one else has with them.

The difference between an expectant mother and a birth mother might seem insignificant at first. Really picking apart the heart of the matter, however, reveals a lot of complexity in the way we choose to talk about adoption, and the way terminology affects how we see all mothers considering adoption for themselves and their children. All pregnant mothers are expectant, but only those who decide that adoption is right for them will become birth mothers after their child is born. Hopefully this information will help you on your own adoption journey down the road.

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 an 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.