May 12th, 2007
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On various forums including the forums at adoption.com, I sometimes see adoptive mothers requesting suggestions for appropriate gifts for birth mothers on such occasions as Mothers’ Day.

My thoughts on this subject always drift towards the same conclusion. Material gifts are often welcomed tokens, however, there are other ways to honor birth mothers with more significance, in my mind at least. As much as I love receiving gifts, (and my husband will attest to the fact that I truly do) I thoroughly appreciate less material gifts as well.

What can adoptees and adoptive parents do for the birth mothers in their lives? Adoptees can pick up the phone and call their birth mothers on Mothers’ Day and wish her Happy Mothers’ Day, or send a simple card. Write her a poem or a story and tell her what knowing her has meant to you. Draw her a picture or send her a new photo of you. None of these ideas cost much, but mean the world to birth mothers.

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For adoptees who are not in touch with their birth mothers, consider if you want to change that if possible. If not, say a prayer for her and think of anything you like about yourself that she might have a part in bequeathing to you. Donate flowers to your church in her honor or donate items to a local facility that supports pregnant women. Write a poem or story to your birth mother and send it to Adoption Week E-magazine.

The best gift from adoptive parents is sharing the child with their child’s birth mother. Have your child call and wish their birth mother “Happy Mothers’ Day.” Let them march up to her front door, and in person ring the door bell and greet her with a Happy Mothers’ Day greeting. Suggest that they draw a picture for her. Let your child’s birth mother spend some special time alone with your/her child. Take some photos of your child and their birth mother together, and nicely frame one of the photos.

If an adoption is closed, consider changing that situation and offering contact if possible. When and if you hear others bad-mouthing birth mothers in general, speak up and tell people that not all birth mothers are terrible people. When you have inklings during adoption proceedings that something is not quite right, do not ignore the situation. If there are any indications that any pressure is being placed on a pregnant woman, again, speak up and do not tolerate or condone such actions.

Honor your child by honoring its birth mother. It will likely make your child feel good, and can only strengthen your relationship with your child. Plus, you will feel good knowing that you have done the right thing.

Further Resources:

Honoring Your Child’s Birthmom

Surviving Mothers’ Day

Photo by Jan Baker 2007

4 Responses to “How to Honor a Birth Mother”

  1. JustJayne says:

    I have a gift for you, if you’ll tell me how many children you have :)

  2. Jan Baker says:

    Three children – two that I raised, one that I did not.

  3. JustJayne says:

    Okie, here’s a Mother’s Day badge for you for your website or just for whatever!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/krissib/494122687/

    Happy Mother’s Day!

  4. Jan Baker says:

    Thanks! Very cool! Happy Mothers’ Day to you too.

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