Each year, the Saturday before Mother’s Day is known as Birth Mother’s Day. It was first celebrated in 1990 as a day to recognize the women who have made the challenging decision to place their babies for adoption. It is also a way of addressing the guilt, shame, and negative stigma around birth mothers, as well as adoption. To mark the occasion, we are sharing stories from three of our clients about what Birth Mother’s Day means to them.
Tori*, a 23-year-old adopted person, said that she always thinks of her birth mom on this day. “My adoptive parents were able to meet my birth mom after I was born – she told them giving me up was a very difficult decision for her to make,” she said. “I don’t have contact with her right now, but hopefully someday I will.” Tori shared that she typically has spent Birth Mother’s Day with her parents going through some pictures from her childhood. This year, she has invited a friend (an adopted person who was born in China) to join her family.
As a birth mom who placed a child 14 years ago, Claudia* shared that while she is now married and has two young children that she is raising, she has never forgotten the son that she wasn’t able to parent. He was born at a time in her life when she knew she couldn’t provide a loving, stable family life for him. “I’ve never forgotten about Adam and am grateful to the social worker who provided options for us,” she explained. Although she didn’t know about it, Birth Mother’s Day seemed to be something that she will consider acknowledging. “From the letters and pictures that I’ve received through Adoption Resources from the adoptive parents, I know Adam is thriving,” Claudia said. “I know I made the best decision I could for him and for me.”
Sandra’s* two daughters were both adopted, and she always has wondered how their birth mothers spend Birth Mother’s Day. “I always think of them on Mother’s Day,” she said. “Our two girls wouldn’t be alive today without her selfless decision.” This family has a tradition that they began many years ago when they learned about this special day. Sandra, her wife, and the girls will spend Birth Mother’s Day picking out flowers to plant in their backyard garden. “And then, when we find the right spot, we will plant them on Mother’s Day,” she shared. “The girls are always so happy that we get to do this, and it’s another way to bridge together and celebrate the moms that love them.”
To read more about the experience of being a birth mother, read our Birth Mother Journal.
* Names changed to protect privacy.