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Old 05-20-2013, 02:16 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,122,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I've never heard of "paper-pregnant." It's interesting, how is it used? It sounds like an attorney or private agency would use this term; but I agree, it doesn't sound right.

I'm curious about feelings over the birth family terms. Would you prefer the use of "biological" instead? I think for most people the terms 'mother' and 'father' are very loaded. I can understand wanting these terms to be used for those parents who raised you and who for the most part may be all a child knows. I think this is why some parents who've adopted might prefer a differentiation in the terms when used to describe them and the biological family. I could be wrong.

Never heard of "paper pregnant" either, but "paper pregnancy" references the time during which a couple is preparing the paper work required for adoption, having a the home study completed, selecting an agency, obtaining a referral and generally awaiting the arrival of their child.

It correlates roughly with the amount of time and the amount of stress, anticipation, anxiety, happiness and the general roller coaster of emotion experienced by individuals and couples who are pregnant with a child biologically.

I like and use the term. The word "pregnant" does not only reference one who is "expecting a child". Although in a paper pregnancy, a child or children are indeed being expected.

It lends legitimacy to the considerable work that goes into the time that we await the arrival of our children through adoption.

I remember that as a young mother, who did not yet know that I was going not going to be able to have more children biologically, I attended a church and was a member of a group that brought food to people who were ill, physically or emotionally, experiencing stress of any sort - or were pregnant.

I was aware of a couple who was adopting from foster care. I suggested that we include this family in the food program. Yes I met with some resistance, but it was accepted on the basis of "stress" not "pregnancy"

When the same church refused to give a shower to the same woman because the kids that she was adopting "were not babies", I left the church.

Paper Pregnancy is a accurate and inclusive term. I am a fan.

Last edited by sheena12; 05-20-2013 at 02:54 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Paper Pregnancy is a accurate and inclusive term. I am a fan.
Preparing to parent a child & all the anxieties that go with that does not = the experience of being pregnant. The only thing they have in common is that most people who become pregnant also prepare to raise their child.

There's nothing wrong with parenting a child you were not pregnant with. Marketing paper pregnancy suggests that there is something missing if pregnancy is not a part of your experience as a soon-to-be parent. That is something I can't agree with.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 05-20-2013 at 02:48 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 02:59 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,586 posts, read 23,122,267 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Preparing to parent a child & all the anxieties that go with that does not = the experience of being pregnant. The only thing they have in common is that most people who become pregnant also prepare to raise their child.

There's nothing wrong with parenting a child you were not pregnant with. Marketing paper pregnancy suggests that there is something missing if pregnancy is not a part of your experience as a soon-to-be parent. That is something I can't agree with.
Who is "marketing" anything?

There is nothing missing implied. The term promotes correctly the COMMONALITY of each experience.
Not the differences.

Having experienced both a biological pregnancy and a paper pregnancy, the later was more stressful and less acknowledged and supported by others.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Who is "marketing" anything?

There is nothing missing implied. The term promotes correctly the COMMONALITY of each experience.
Not the differences.

Having experienced both a biological pregnancy and a paper pregnancy, the later was more stressful and less acknowledged and supported by others.
If you google it one of the first things that pops up are T-shirts & key rings.

& the commonalities you are referring to has nothing to do with pregnancy -- Preparation for parenthood does not = pregnancy.

Just like pregnancy does not automatically = preparation for parenthood.

When I was adopted, pregnancy had nothing to do with how I became a part of my family. My parents accepted that & I'm glad they never felt the need to refer to their experience of adopting me as a form of pregnancy.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 05-20-2013 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artful Dodger View Post
I've noted before that mom and dad never used qualifiers - just mother or father when referring to our other parents, and mom and dad for them. That was their choice of terms - perhaps because of their personalities and sureness in our relationships - but they did it with us privately and publicly.
I have to say that it is a unique situation that you and thethreefoldme present here. I'd have to go back to what I read about open adoption and terms used with it to get the exact quote but young children are often confused by the use of the same or similar terms to describe their caregivers. It takes some getting older to see it as just a part of their life. It's definitely a matter of parental choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
I've heard it used by PAPs when going through the process to adopt. I've even seen "I'm paper pregnant" shirts.

Just using mom, dad, mother, & father is plenty of differentiation for a child. I see no problem with using biological when further differentiation is needed, though, just like with other types of families. But children raised by two moms do not call the one that gave birth to them "birth-mom," nor do children raised by step or foster parents normally use these birth-terms. It's just unnecessary to require any child to use them & parents should not feel so insecure that they cannot use/will not allow the use of "mother" & "father" when discussing their child's other parents.
Okay, seriously? Your examples are not even relevant to adoption. First, same-sex couples may not have adopted, one mother may have given birth to the child. If she did, I'm sure the child would be told who gave birth to him/her. And, since they are raising that child, there is no need to use "birth mother." Birth mother's typically don't raise their children. Also, step and foster parents are not permanent in most cases. Unless a parent has passed away. What children use often is stepfather/mother or foster mother/father.

But, why do you think parent's feel insecure? I'm not insecure about our adoption plans at all but when we adopt we'd never encourage or use the terms mother and father for our children's biological parents. When the time is right (age appropriate), we would use their first names and/or biological mother/father. Insecurity has nothing to do with. Reality does. Genetically, they have the DNA of other people. In reality, their mother and father will be me and my husband.

I don't know all of the details of yours and Artful's adoptions, only what you've posted. Every adoption is different. For us, and many others like us, Mother and Father/Mom and Dad, are reserved for the parents who are actually doing the job of parenting/raising the child. We don't see this as insecurity or disrespect. It really isn't. It is simply the reality of the situation.

I've known adults who have never been adopted. Their parents were divorced or never married, and for whatever reason, either the mother or father or both, never played a significant part in that person's life outside of being the vessel that brought them into the world. None of these individuals I know honor these birth parents with the title of Mother or Father when another person played that role. In fact, they claim just the opposite. Why should adoption be any different? I just think it's a loaded term for most people and it's perfectly normal and natural to reserve whom it's used to describe.

Obviously if you were raised to use these terms interchangeably then this is your normal and that's fine. But claiming that other's are insecure if they don't agree with this can be seen as being a bit narrow-minded, don't you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
Never heard of "paper pregnant" either, but "paper pregnancy" references the time during which a couple is preparing the paper work required for adoption, having a the home study completed, selecting an agency, obtaining a referral and generally awaiting the arrival of their child.

It correlates roughly with the amount of time and the amount of stress, anticipation, anxiety, happiness and the general roller coaster of emotion experienced by individuals and couples who are pregnant with a child biologically.

I like and use the term. The word "pregnant" does not only reference one who is "expecting a child". Although in a paper pregnancy, a child or children are indeed being expected.

It lends legitimacy to the considerable work that goes into the time that we await the arrival of our children through adoption.

Paper Pregnancy is a accurate and inclusive term. I am a fan.
Ahhh! Thanks for the explanation. Makes sense. I've never heard of it, but I do "feel" like I'm having a paper pregnancy...LOL!
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:25 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I have to say that it is a unique situation that you and thethreefoldme present here. I'd have to go back to what I read about open adoption and terms used with it to get the exact quote but young children are often confused by the use of the same or similar terms to describe their caregivers. It takes some getting older to see it as just a part of their life. It's definitely a matter of parental choice.
Are children confused when raised by two moms or two dads? No. Because having more than one mother & father is not what is confusing. I was more confused by being the only person I knew who was expected to use different terms for my biological family. I grew accustomed to it, but referring to them in that way certainly never helped me feel less confused about them.

The terms we used did not change the facts -- I still had two other parents (another mother & another father) who I didn't know. Being adopted can be confusing for kids, period, but when people referred to my other mother & father I knew exactly who they meant based on the context. "birth" terms were never necessary.

I'm sure there are people who will suggest using "birth-parents" to help with confusion, but from my experience, it didn't help. I'd like to hear from other adoptees whether or not these terms benefited them in anyway?

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 05-20-2013 at 07:36 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 06:37 PM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,170 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Birth mother's typically don't raise their children. Also, step and foster parents are not permanent in most cases. Unless a parent has passed away. What children use often is stepfather/mother or foster mother/father.
The terms mother & father have never been solely defined as someone who raises a child. Just like my grandmother through adoption did not raise me, but she is still my grandmother. & the point I was making is that (unlike adoptees) those people are not expected to use the term "birth parent" to describe the parents who did not raise them.

Quote:
Obviously if you were raised to use these terms interchangeably then this is your normal and that's fine. But claiming that other's are insecure if they don't agree with this can be seen as being a bit narrow-minded, don't you think?
Actually, I was raised to use the term birth-parents. My mom & dad use their first names now that we know them & I'm fine with that (so do I). I never claimed others are insecure just because they don't agree. But IMO not accepting legitimate usage of the terms mother/father is far more narrow-minded than acknowledging that some (not all) APs have had the insecurities I mentioned.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 05-20-2013 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:32 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,980,293 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
The terms mother & father have never been solely defined as someone who raises a child. Just like my grandmother through adoption did not raise me, but she is still my grandmother. & the point I was making is that (unlike adoptees) those people are not expected to use the term "birth parent" to describe the parents who did not raise them.

Actually, I was raised to use the term birth-parents. My mom & dad use their first names now that we know them & I'm fine with that (so do I). I never claimed others are insecure just because they don't agree. But IMO not accepting legitimate usage of the terms mother/father is far more narrow-minded than acknowledging that some (not all) APs have had the insecurities I mentioned.
No one is talking about the terms being solely defined as such. But they are very emotional terms for most people, adopted or not. Some people cannot even call their in-laws mother or father. It is what it is.

Again, here we are, back to your own internalization of how you were raised and how this makes you uniquely qualified to set the gold standard for everyone else. I was merely offering a different perspective on why some people do not refer to their birth parents as simply "mom" or "dad" or "mother" or "father."

Legitimate uses of birth mother and birth father are just that, legitimate. Someone you have a genetic connection to. If you don't like these terms for your biological parents, then fine. No one is asking you to call them anything else. You're the one who brought up the whole "insecure" aspect of using these terms. I pointed out that this isn't necessarily true. That's not being narrow-minded, it's accepting other uses of the terms.
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Old 05-20-2013, 09:45 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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Mother and father are technical terms. Mom and dad are endearment terms. It is completely proper to call biological parents mother and father because they are.
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Old 05-20-2013, 10:17 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 2,980,293 times
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Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
Mother and father are technical terms. Mom and dad are endearment terms. It is completely proper to call biological parents mother and father because they are.
What are you talking about?
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