Saturday, December 04, 2010

That "N" Word (Natural)

A very nice mother in Canada got a very rude email which took her to task over her use of the term "Natural Mother," to describe those of us who had our children appropriated for adoption. The writer of this malicious missive was, of course, an adopter. Now many disagree with me, but for reasons of my own, I don't apply parental titles to those who adopt. I have certain principles that make it impossible for me to bring myself to call an adopter a mother or a father.

In my mind and my philosophy, each person born gets one mother and one father. That is how biology works. But to identify ourselves as mothers who were not given the right to raise our children lost to adoption, many of us prefer the term "Natural Mother." It used to be the correct and legal term until some adopters and others decided that by calling us that, it was implying that women who adopted were not natural mothers.

Well...uh...that's nothing more than the simple truth. There is nothing natural about adoption. It's a man-made, legal construct that, as with all things man-made, tries to overrule nature and the power of nature that is conferred on the females of all mammals to give live birth to our young. The term "birth mother" was first used by author and adopter Pearl S. Buck, and passed through the network until it became the title it is today, one that is used to distance us from our motherhood and make the adopter more comfortable.

For as long as there have been human beings, there seems to have been a fear, on the part of patriarchal societies of a woman's sexuality. Our genitalia is internal, a little dark cave that performs a miracle. We bleed every month but don't die from it (although there have been times many of us wished we could) until that miracle is conceived and then we do something no man can do. We produce life. Yes, it does take the cooperation of a man to conceive, but, with donated sperm, we can, if we wish, do the entire thing ourselves. A man still needs our wombs, presence and cooperation in order to have offspring.

The patriarchs have done all in their power to subdue and conquer our female nature. It seems to be the way of all men. If there is a river, bridge it or dam it. If there is a hill where he wants a road, then he levels the hill. He builds levees to hold back rivers and swamps and builds his artificial nests on the infirm soil. If there are minerals in the earth, he must go after them. Man seeks to control and mimic what he cannot be...that natural creator. Often, Nature gets back a bit of her own. Hurricanes, floods and the simple impermanence of human construction will  often roll over these man-made barriers like a Juggernaut, destroying in minutes what took months and even years to build. Even the pyramids are crumbling in spite of constant upkeep.

It is also the patriarchal need to control women that has led generations of women to believe that their only worth is in their fecundity. From that precept comes the old, "give me a child lest I die" school of thought that drives the potential adopter. Many segments of society still look askance at a woman who can bear children yet chooses not to do so. Yet, let a woman decide to bear a child without the active oversight and last name
of a man and she is scorned and seen as unworthy. And on this curious dichotomy, Man has created a lucrative industry that uses female fertility and restricted autonomy. Then he uses the onus of infertility to create the market. Due to the oppressive idea that a woman is less than worthy if she cannot produce a child for a man, they have their customers and "proper" women for their social experiments and engineering.

So adoption is not just unnatural. In its concept, it is sexist, anti-woman and done for reasons that have less to do with the ultimate welfare of a child than the idea that a child should be provided for a woman who is unable to bear her own....a child for a home; NOT a home for a child. Women are commercial objects and/or consumers and because of this, women predate on other women, can't cooperate or get each other's backs and that leaves men still pretty much in charge. They run the world while we wrangle over who should raise children.

To the woman who wrote that irate email to my friend, learn your biology. Adoption is NOT natural and giving birth is. I am a natural mother. You are an adopter of a child in order to fulfill your own desires. And while we are giving biology lessons, I'd love to give Rosie O'Donnell a heads up. Babies do not grow in our "tummies." That would be very uncomfortable. They grow in our uterus which is made just for that purpose.

So the adopters of our world can throw that "birth" word and that "tummy mommy" idiocy around all they like. That child you coveted and took as your own is created by the genes and the body of a NATURAL mother. This Natural Mother and many others I know would have given anything to have been able to rush a sick child to the hospital and sit with them while they healed. We would have sold our souls to be able to kiss the boo-boos and change the dirty diapers because, if you care for a child, that's what you do. Doing it confers no special honors on you that change the fact that you are not the natural mother of the child you possess.

It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature.


jenny81271 said...

How true, how appropriate, and I second this emotion...I am a mother..without a child, NOT by my own choice. Call them whatever they like....just don't change the facts...

Von said...

Agree with very word.I too am unable to call adopters anything other than adopters.Mothers to me are the women who give birth, always have been always will be.You can BeeMommy all you like it will never change my mind about what is natural and what is not.
Great run down here too from that sound irrefutable perspective!
May I link this one it's great?

Robin said...

Sure Von. Be my guest.

Lori said...

Awesome post! I totally hate that women don't seem to be able to pull it together and still prey upon each other...why do they think men have the power? Sigh...From a VERY Natural Mother!

The Declassified Adoptee said...

What a terrible thing for her to get an email like that :-(

For me, who is "mother" and "father" is not as simple as biology. I am not comfortable calling the man who fathered me "my father."

But I do refer respectfully to other Natural Fathers out there in-general, of course :-)

J. Marie Jameson said...

I'd love to give Rosie O'Donnell a heads up. Babies do not grow in our "tummies." That would be very uncomfortable. They grow in our uterus which is made just for that purpose.

LOL! Great post.

Anonymous said...

Great post. As a natural mother myself it was a kick in the gut to hear our daughter (yes I married her father) introduce us to one and all as her birth parents. I asked her to not call me or us that. For sure this came from the adopters and even heard from her that their (birth)son said "I just went on with my life". Some things just never change.

maryanne said...

How refreshing to see it admitted that you do not consider adoptive parents "parents" but adopters. Honesty is always the best policy.

Lovely illustration of the pregnant woman.

Robin said...

I'm glad you find it refreshing, maryanne. I've never really said anything different. I just no longer care what critics might have to say about it.

Mei Ling said...

"How refreshing to see it admitted that you do not consider adoptive parents "parents" but adopters. Honesty is always the best policy."

Many adoptive parents merely believe God's Will for a woman to use her uterus to conceive a child that was *really* meant for someone else. *raises eyebrows*

So what does that mean? "birth" mothers are merely vessels for a political convenience?

maryanne said...

Perhaps not you Robin, but other anti-adoption people have tried to deny that the word "adopter" connotes any denial that adoptive parents are in fact parents in any real sense.

I congratulate you on being honest about your beliefs, even though I do not share them.

Robin said...

Noting that "adopter" is a perfectly good word and has been used legally for generations, it is neither denial nor confirmation of anyone's status. For many of my circle, it is used as a counter response to the "birthmother" term which, in point of fact, IS being used to deny our parenthood. We're all individuals and I speak only for myself and do not think of those who use the adopter title for different purposes as being dishonest. Perhaps there is a little "generalizing," of which we have been accused on numerous occasions, going on.

Robin said...

To the industry, adopters and many others, it, sadly, to them, means exactly that, Mei Ling. And it is a message they would like to proliferate. But, then, I am not a "birth" anything. I am a mother, period.

As I have said before, my usage of the words noted are for my own stated reasons and cannot be ascribed to or explain the reasoning of, anyone else in a general sense.

Discussion closed.

Stephanie said...

I have an idea. Why don't we just skip the N part altogeather and opt for the M word, MOTHER. That will really piss the ADOPTER off and make her want to send a nasty message.

Yeah, I use the adopter term in the same way they use the birthmother term, to denounce me and so many others of our motherhood. Up hers. I have zero tolerance for them anymore. Zilch. Get over your delusions of grandeur and your self entitlement to that of which is not yours, A-DOP-TOR(S). Yeah, I said it and mean it. I don't care who it offends.

Most get to play mothers to our children because they bought them from a baby broker and/ or (more recently) conned them out of their NATURAL mothers with lies and false promises. Yes, they deserve that title so very much.

Cedar said...

Wow! I am always astounded at how far the industry goes to tell us to shut up. They are truly scared by the idea that we might - gasp - actually still be mothers after the act of surrender!

Somehow I am not surprised that this industry's satisfied customer is trying to tell a mother to shut up and go back to her industry-approved "role" as a breeder.

Thank you, Robin, for writing this article in defence of the term "Natural Mother." It is a term that makes total sense. Adoption is NOT found in nature!

I updated a post I wrote back in 2003, regarding "Respectful Adoption Language." I want to share this with you.
A Look at “Respectful Adoption Language”

Anonymous said...

This post made say "yah, take that world!" Thanks once again for standing tall for us mothers.