Adoption Terminology


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?

In real life, I refer to my adoptive parents as my parents, and my adoptive siblings as my brother and sister. Only in blogoland, when trying to differentiate or emphasize my adoptedness, do I call them my adoptive parents. When I introduce them to others, I introduce them as my parents. And only when someone makes an assholey comment about how tall I am, do I tell them that I am adopted.

In real life I introduce my biological/first dad as J, since that is his name. Sometimes I might introduce him as my biodad if it’s in a situation where people are going to wonder a) why he’s there and b) why he looks so much like me. He introduces me as his daughter, which I love. If I am nowhere near my adoptive family or my in-laws, I introduce him as my dad, or as my father. In blogging, or online, I refer to him as my natural/first dad for those who are schooled in proper adoptee language, and biological/birth dad for those who might be confused by the former langauge. I don’t get my panties too in a twist about what terminology I use for him, what annoys me is when people “correct” my use of a certain term. I will decide what I damn well please, thankyouverymuch.

My biological mother, on the other hand, is always my biolgical mother or birth mother in conversation. Perhaps I use her given name, E, and sometimes when I am feeling very generous online or want to fit in with my peeps, I use the most accepted ‘first mom/natural mom’ bit. I don’t get the chance to introduce her to people, as she is so messed up with drugs/alcohol that I very rarely even get to see her in her home, let alone out in publice. Which I am fine with.

I don’t really know how my biological family feels about what I call them. And I don’t actually care. I mean, they relinquished me to be raised by strangers, I don’t really think they get much say in what  I call them. And my adoptive parents refer to them as my birthparents, or J as J, but I also don’t care what they think about what I call them. I think, that, as long as I’m not refering to THEM as my adoptive parents in public (or private) they should be fine.

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