Hello all,
I am a total newbie, just embarking on this crazy journey called (foster) adoption. I read on another website that the term 'paper pregnant' is offensive to other people. It did not explain why. Perhaps I am being a little dense, but I want to educate myself. I also do not want to inadvertently offend someone.
Thank you.
Thank you for that everyone.
I think I like the term (since it is the only way I am going to be pregnant). Plus, a pregnant pause means a big pause. Paper pregnant can mean big (piles) of paper work, lol.
Stevenstwin, amen to that! I see it every day.
I've never been pregnant but spend nine months going through similar emotions as my pregnant friends and the day before I was placed I spent the entire day on the floor writhing in some unknown pain. A friend said it was "Labor" whatever it was it sucked. Now my pregnant friends who have babies and me who have babies are exactly the who cares. An adoptive parent needs to feel "pregnant" it is important, otherwise, you don't prepare your heart and mind for a child. No, it's not the same thing, but when you are finally wiping that child's running nose, shoving a few more morsels of food in their mouth while they try one more go at climbing to the top of the monkey bars, nearly falling to their death, you're a parent just like the rest of them. Pregnancy or paper pregnant is what you are.
It seems like "expectant" would be a better term. Both birth parents and non-birth parents (in dyads - when only one is pregnant) are expectant, as are adoptive parents.
We are definitely feeling 'expectant' and wanting to nest, as much or more so than when we actually were pregnant (and pre-miscarriage).
Might run into more confusion by saying "expectant" though. Most people equate expectant mother with a pregnant woman. Not saying we aren't expecting parents no matter how the family is created. Just saying to most, you'd need a clarifier in there so they understand.
"I'm an expectant parent by adoption"...kwim?
Paper Pregnant sometimes irks me and sometimes doesn't - maybe sometimes it just depends on the context? You know, sometimes different things rub you the wrong way :arrow:
If I'm having a hard adoption related day, and I stumble across someone that's announcing a "paper pregnancy" meaning that they're matched and expecting a baby? be honest, sometimes I just get annoyed. I get very "me, me, me" (or more accurately "expectant Mom, expectant Mom, expectant Mom") and feel like pregnancy might be the ONE thing this Mother really gets - and that's being taken away.
Now, I COMPLETELY REALIZE that might not be (probably isn't!!) the intention of the excited prospective adoptive parent - but hey, sometimes our knee jerk reactions are always logical!
The term doesnt offend me in the least; it makes me roll my eyes, because most ғcutesy terms have that effect on me.
Now, if a person took the ԓpaper pregnancy to the point of parking in the ԓexpectant mother spot at the mall, I would be offended.
TGM - that's a good point and you are right too in that most would not dream of thinking of it that way or intention.
Paige - I remember years ago a discussion on just that. I was floored how many didn't see anything wrong with parking in that spot because they too were expecting a child. To me it's the same as parking in the Handicap spot if you are deaf...yanno?;)
I never used this term. I always just said "we are adopting".
TG, I remember this thread as well and it sparked quite a debate with many hopeful adoptive parents seeing absolutely nothing wrong with parking there. That one, I just didn't get...not at all.
To TG's point, I agree that if you were speaking about an already matched child, then yuck. I agree, we are removing the pregnancy from the expectant mother and her child. I have never used the terms "paper pregnant", however I have told people who are preparing their forms to consider themselves "pregnant" as in, "take this waiting time seriously, you are going to have a baby in a finite amount of time" however, if matched and waiting via domestic adoption, I would use the more empathetic terms, of "matched with an expectant mother" etc. However if just getting your paperwork together, well...I guess I think just referring to yourself and your family as "pregnant" to mean getting ready for a baby, might be not be offensive. But as TG has said, it is offensive to an expectant mother planning to place (or has already placed) a child. So as with all things in adoption, we learn and adapt as we learn.
And boy if we had a an expectant mother parking space, I sure as heck hope it is only for those who are truly pregnant!'s kinda slimy. An adoptive parent is not impeded by their physical pregnancy, so save the special parking space excitement for the day when you do have a family and can use the family parking...yikes.
Muse, I think we're totally on the same page :)
Which is why I said it only irks me sometimes :arrow: Like I know YOU and if when you were waiting for Indya (whom I need to see SOON by the way! and big sis Aria too!!!) and you said you were paper pregnant? I don't think it would have bugged me, haha!
I TOLD you it didn't make much sense sometimes!!!
So yes, the term isn't inherently offensive (to me) but like so many things, the way it's used can change that.
:-) I know TG cause you and I are friends, but I think you brought up a great point. I never saw it that way and it makes sense.
Okay...this is crazy, we do need to see each other. I'll email you in a few minutes :-)
Well explained.
We were curious...still in the paperwork stage (to the nth degree). We are going through the county.
This is all so new and we are trying to figure out all the terminology; what to say; what not to say. How to get that foot flavor out of our mouths (although not on this one! That is why I asked you first).
I'm late coming to this thread, as I'm a new (future) resource parent (a term I like!).
The reason the term "paper pregnant" bothers me is that it takes that experience away from the first mother, almost as if her experience of phyisical pregnancy doesn't exist. What she did was conceive, carry and give birth to the child... and that is hers forever. I don't want to take that away from her.
It also constantly compares the experience of adoption to giving birth, and somehow makes it feel second best. Does this make sense?
Yes, there are many emotions attached to the experience (I'm an adoptive mom, so I've been there), but pregnancy, labor, etc are not among them. I prefer to use completely adoption (or foster) related terms that keep the experience of adoption positive. Terms like, "referral!" or "matched!" or "on the waiting list!" are very exciting, empowering adoption words.
I like to keep the two experiences distinct.