Birth Mother (Glossary)

A birth mother is a woman who has given birth to a child and placed her child for adoption.

In most cases, parental rights are relinquished and an adoption follows; however, this isn't always the case.

Birth mothers have only recently begun to speak about their experiences, giving insight into the grief and loss they feel, even in cases where adoption was the best possible solution.

The term "birth mother" is sometimes used erroneously to indicate a woman who is pregnant and making an adoption plan; however, sensitivity to language has grown and these women are most often correctly called "pregnant women" or, if they have given birth and not yet relinquished their parental rights, "mothers."

During the last few years, some women have expressed their dislike of the term "birth mother" and other terms, such as "first mother" have come into use.