Sooooooo, biologically speaking…..

March 13, 2007 at 2:08 pm 19 comments

Seems most other adoptee blogs have one post or another about adoption language. So I thought I’d throw in my two cents.

The really honest (and hurt) side of me just wants to say a big FU to anyone who tells me what terms I should be using – that goes to adoption “professionals”, APs and first parents – all of you. I didn’t ask for any of this so who are you to tell me how I should refer to certain members of this arena? Especially when most of what adoptees say are ignored and oftentimes we are still treated and viewed as children.

And then the empathetic side of me says “okay, what term doesn’t hurt you?” and I’ll refer to you as that because I don’t like hurting so I certainly wouldn’t ever want to purposely hurt someone else. I really do understand why certain terms bother people – I can see the meaning behind the language. In real life I just use the term mother – for either one. When writing, as we all know, to make the reader aware of which mother we are referring to, we need to use some sort of descriptor. Obviously “adoptive” is okay and correct for my amom. So that leaves the other mother…….

I’ve used many terms over my life and moreso the past few years. Lately I tend to use “first” more often than any other one as it is deemed acceptable and in essence, it is true. But I’d like to discuss the word “biological.” I’ve heard a lot of people say that biological reduces her to only that. This bothers me. Why? Because to me, and this is MY opinion only (I hate having to feel I need to preface stuff with that but), biology is not a reduction in any sense. Biology to me would be at the top of the life pyramid. Biology to me means creation. She created me biologically – there was no other way. I am flesh of her flesh – her blood pumps through my heart – her DNA is inside of me – I am her feet and her hands and her walk and her hips and so much more. I have personality traits that are biological. I am of German and French ancestry due to biology. My eye color, my hair color, my freckles are all from biology – there is no nurturing involved in what I look like.

And then I add my son to the mix. My son, who was created by me and his father, in only one way – biologically. I love that he is genetically linked to me. I love that he has my red hair and fair skin and even my three dimples – two on one side and one on the other. I gave that to him. I love that I look at him and see his mommy in miniature. He really lucked out too – he got the best parts of both of us and is absolutely beautiful. I see no reduction there and I am proud beyond belief that he is my biological son and I am his biological mother – and of course, just mom in real life.


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The Date Is Set

19 Comments Add your own

  • 1. momseekingpeace  |  March 13, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I really enjoyed this post, I have always shivered a bit at the term biological but this made me see it in a whole new way, it’s a nice term when thought of like this.


  • 2. alex  |  March 14, 2007 at 12:02 am

    I totally agree with you.. I was quite bothered when I was told what words were appropriate to use in this blogosphere. It’s asking us adoptees to tread on eggshells around our *mothers. To edit ourselves before we mutter a word.

    We are the children who were adopted and subsequently had two mothers, we have to use words like that to differentiate between them. Why can’t we express ourselves the way we feel is right, why do we have to change it to make others feel ok about it.

    As an adoptee, I don’t place such a huge significance on the *mother name I use, as I don’t feel the same emotional impact as *mothers when I write or speak said word.

    I have noticed that *mothers attach so much more to this name or description; their emotion, hurt, pain – it’s all connected to this one name given, and that is why I think they can react very defensively when names like birthmother and biological mother are used. It seems to limit them in their eyes. It doesn’t in mine, but again, I don’t feel those things they feel on a daily basis.

    I try and empathise, and try and be sensitive, but it’s the old story of adoptee’s adapting/editing to make others feel less hurt. Naturally, nobody wants to hurt anyone else here, we’ve all had enough of that in our lives, surely. I would just like to be able to express myself without being crucified for my choice of words.

    * birth/biological/natural etc…

  • 3. Possum  |  March 14, 2007 at 6:12 am

    Yeah – prefixes suck.
    I guess it goes with the territory – adoption sucks too.
    Good post Miss Dory.
    I like your work!!!
    Hugs, Poss. xx

  • 4. kippa  |  March 14, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    Couldn’t agree more, in every respect.

  • 5. Mia  |  March 14, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    I gave it thought until my head felt like it would explode. I tend to bounce around from first mom to natural mom but have pretty much stopped using the term birthmother all together.

    Are you cleaning and organizing everything in sight? A little nesting going on at your house? lol

  • 6. addiepray  |  March 14, 2007 at 11:04 pm

    Good work there, Dory.

    The whole debate has always left me reeling.

  • 7. Wraith  |  March 15, 2007 at 3:50 am

    I’m with you. I used birth because to my mind it was the beginning and the link to the past but that wasn’t good, then I tried biological but that was said to be to clinical. Usually I go back to birth or use blood because it shows ties.

    Excellent post.

  • 8. bijousodyssey  |  March 15, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    Great post. Yes, I always get a kick out of those adoption “professionals” and their clinical terminology? Just who gets to be labeled a “professional”? Can we turn the tables? Give our own names? like social worker adoption professional= baby broker?

  • 9. Chrissy  |  March 16, 2007 at 2:50 am

    I hear ya. I used biological for a long time before my family wsa real to me. Birth is hard. Any prefix sucks just because it has to be a prefix and not just MOM. Great post.

  • 10. dorygirl  |  March 16, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    MSP – I’m glad you can see where I’m coming from. Biology has always been very very important to me – not something to be minimized at all.

    Mia – I’m not cleaning or nesting at all. I did with my 1st child but have been way more relaxed with this one. Plus this is my super busy time of year workwise so I don’t have any spare moments to nest. And I’m so busy that I’ve hired a service to clean for me – ugh – makes me sound so priviledged – but I’d rather spend my time with my son then cleaning my house.

    99% of the time I don’t use “birth” anymore – I use “first” out of respect to the first moms who prefer that term. I was only trying to explain what biology, as an adoptee and as a mother, mean to me – and it is precious – it is life.

  • 11. dorygirl  |  March 16, 2007 at 6:17 pm

    Thanks to everyone else who responded – I’m sooooo bad about not responding to comments. I write a post and usually ignore it until I’m ready to write another. I swear, being an online adoptee could be a full time job! Anyone out there who wants to pay me to read blogs and participate in forums?

  • 12. LeRoy Dissing  |  March 17, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Dory…another great post with lots of insight. Because people are people and I never know what they want to be called, sometimes I will just ask them: what do you want to be called or referred to as in this situation? The fact I ask can be offensive but at least I am giving them the choice, right? I cannot disagree with you about the term “biological” mother and your logic for it. Makes perfect sense…and so does “natural” and “first”. All boils down to the parent’s preference, in my opinion.

    Hope your pregnancy is going well and that you are feeling fine! You know, we expect pictures!!!! *smile*

  • 13. Rox  |  March 20, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    when I’m talking to people who aren’t going to have a clue about anything in the world of adoption I use biological. But honestly, I only use that term if someone asks “which mom” because otherwise I stubbornly refer to everyone as mom.

  • 14. joy21  |  April 1, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Hi pretty and smart Dory

    I love your blog

  • 15. ani  |  April 1, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    you know dory I feel like that some days, you can not make everyone else happy, you need to do what you want and screw everyone else.

    sometimes easier said then done huh,,

    Love ya ,, ani

  • 16. ani  |  June 2, 2007 at 7:20 am

    Had to come back to this one, gave me some thought,,for awhile terms did not bother me untell I was enlightened, and opened my heart to others feelings, it does not take much to have care and compassion for others feelings,

    some just are not capable of having respect for the feelings of others in matters such as these,

    you guys have helped me see the light,

    thanks Dory,,


  • 17. ani  |  June 2, 2007 at 7:24 am

    ugg this is not coming out right not saying you are doing that, it is just diff for everyone, but there is a fine line we walk with tems,

    lately this is a hot subject so it seems.

    I hope I am coming across the right way.

    hugs ani

  • 18. eagoodlife  |  January 4, 2010 at 7:49 am

    You bet, the bold DNA is so important and my view is that the genetics are more important than that environmental crap the behaviourists talk.

  • 19. Hannah Tracey Tahorudo  |  May 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

    I used a white foam board to bounce the natural light onto the right side of the sandwich a tip I learned from this site .


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