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Difference between Expectant Mother (Pregnant Woman) and Birth Mother

If you are considering adoption options in Texas because you want to place your baby up for adoption, you are probably discovering the vast terminology of the adoption world. Birth mother. Expectant mother. You are a pregnant woman. So what does all this mean?

If you need help with adoption now, you can call us at 888-307-3340, text us at 888-307-3340, or email us here.

What is a birth mother?

In adoption, a birth mother is a term we use to describe a pregnant woman who has decided to place her baby for adoption and is making an adoption plan. Officially, a woman is not a birth mother until she has given birth and finalized the adoption. However, through the adoption process, she is referred to as the birth mother. You might also hear the term biological mother.

The term birth mother comes from the Positive Adoption Language (PAL) framework developed in 1979. Previously, biological mothers had been referred to as “natural mothers” or “real mothers”. Many felt that this language was disrespectful as it implied that adoptive parents were “unnatural” or not “real” parents. Positive Adoption Language also encourages the use of terms like “place for adoption” rather than “give up for adoption.” The idea is to use language reflecting respect and understanding for the feelings and decisions of all parties throughout the adoption process.

What is an expectant mother?

Any woman, whether choosing adoption or not is usually considered an expectant mother. In adoption, as a pregnant woman, you too may be referred to as an expectant mother. You do not become the birth mom until you have actually placed your child in the arms of another person. Once you enter the adoption process, a pregnant woman often refers to yourself as the expectant mother. As such, you still have rights until you have given birth and signed the consent for adoption.

To recap, when discussing adoption, a birth mother is a woman who has placed her child for adoption. An expectant mother (aka pregnant woman) is she who is considering adoption, has begun the adoption process, and/or she’s making an adoption plan. A pregnant woman will often be referred to as a birth mother or the birth mom throughout the adoption process. It helps to distinguish roles early on and especially when choosing an open adoption or semi-open adoption. This isn’t a light decision nor a conversation to take lightly. Adoption can be a painful as it is joyous. It’s important to understand terminology, roles, responsibilities, and most importantly rights.

As an expectant woman, birth mother, or birth parent, to learn more about adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Texas. You can call us at 888-307-3340, text us at 888-307-3340, or email us here. If you are hoping to adopt, please visit us here. We look forward to helping you through your adoption journey!

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Serving Expectant Parents Statewide
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