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Long lost family vent......

(26 Posts)
marmalade999 Wed 17-Aug-16 22:11:30

Sorry if this offends anyone...but why does Davina consistently refer to the birth mum as "your mother" ......???!! Adoptive parents are "Adoptive parents". It infuriates me!!!! Birth parents are that. They made and gave birth too.

I could go on but I won't.

Rant over..... argh!!!!!!!!

matimeo Thu 18-Aug-16 11:43:45

Completely agree. I correct anyone who uses these terms, and especially 'real mum' or why didn't we have our 'own children'. Perhaps biological progenitor would be a better term.

jellyfishschool Thu 18-Aug-16 12:27:13

I am assuming you don't correct adoptees when they use the terms they want to to describe their family?

OP, have looked at a few of the episodes quickly online it looks like Davina used the terms which the person looking for family used - if the person used mother she used mother and if the person used birth mother she used that and so on from what I can see. I hope that this makes it less "argh" for you?

I do find it surprising though that this is your main comment about the programme. I found the stories of loss over decades to be moving, and it provided insight about how these situations come about, and about the need of some (most? all? I don't know) adoptees to find their bio families even where an adoption/childhood was otherwise happy.

TearingDownTheWall Thu 18-Aug-16 21:02:18

Jelly, don't be surprised. The OP can decide for themselves what they feel or take from the program.
I suspect the OP is pretty clear on loss and the situations that lead to adoption today.

flossietoot Thu 18-Aug-16 21:05:01

I imagine it is because she is using the terminology the child wants to hear at that moment in time.

Mombie2016 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:06:38

mateo funny you should say biological progenitor, that's what I refer to my "Mum" as.

Mombie2016 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:07:36

Fucking autocorrect matimeo

marmalade999 Thu 18-Aug-16 21:16:41

I watch the programme because I want to learn and take on board the perspectives for all of those effected by adoption. This isn't my only observation but it's the one I chose to comment on.
I would never have an opinion on what an adoptee calls their family birth/biological etc. It's entirely their choice.
What offends me is Davina and her using the term "mother" for birth mother. It isn't always because the adoptee refers to the birth parent as mum. It's just an emotional slant for the programme.

tldr Thu 18-Aug-16 21:22:24

marmalade, don't mind jellyfish, she just enjoys telling adopters they're wrong.

flossietoot Thu 18-Aug-16 21:23:27

Why does it offend you? I am a long term foster carer to a now young adult and I have never heard any professionals around that ever use the term 'birth mother' for his long time estranged mother. It doesn't bother me in the least as I know being a 'mother' is much much more than just a name.

TearingDownTheWall Thu 18-Aug-16 21:30:27

Flossie, as a fostercarer, your child has a mother. They don't need to differentiate her. Marmalade however is her child's mum so when others call birth mums "real" or specify the adopters but not the birth family it can feel upsetting and like we are being diminished.

flossietoot Thu 18-Aug-16 21:49:17

Yes, I appreciate that to some degree- however the only reason my foster son is not adopted is that, like many children in long term foster care, he was too old to be considered for adoption- he has a mother but she has no rights what so ever and he has not seen her in many many years, and has no desire to. I think it is a confidence thing- as in being able to recognise 'mother' as just a word, and not reflective of actually being the person who loves and cares for a child.

flossietoot Thu 18-Aug-16 21:50:05

I do agree that to use the word 'real' is hurtful and unnecessary.

matimeo Thu 18-Aug-16 21:55:29

@ Jellyfish, no of course I wouldn't presume to dictate how other adoptees want to describe their families; though the few other adopted adults I know have expressed similar irritation to the terms as myself and the OP.

I don't mind correcting inappropriate terms used about my kids- adoption is a new thing to a lot of people and I put my foot in my mouth enough not to worry too much when others do.

TearingDownTheWall Thu 18-Aug-16 22:12:07

Flossie, regardless of why he has the care plan that he does, or his mother's lack of involvement, she is his mother. In an adoption, the child has another set of legal parents. So calling the birth family just "mum" and the adoptive family "adoptive mum" does qualify the adopters role and lessens it (in my opinion).

marmalade999 Fri 19-Aug-16 07:58:52

It's like a form of torture watching the programme sometimes! I watch it to try and get some insight. Sadly (most) children who are adopted these days is because of severe neglect/risk etc.not because they are a child out of wedlock (for example). It's really quite sad.

TearingDownTheWall Fri 19-Aug-16 09:49:25

I wish they were clearer about what support they give to the families. I get its done for emotional pull and ratings but it all seems so easy: "we've found your son, he wants to see you, he isn't angry at all..."

jellyfishschool Fri 19-Aug-16 10:47:22

tldr and tearingdownthewall, responding to your earlier posts, unless an adopter comes from a background of neglect/abuse and loss from separation they won't understand what it is like, I don't think; the training you get and reading the reports etc and knowing what your child's background was is not the same on any level. I am not being critical - what an adopter from a stable background offers is just that - stability. Obviously some adopters will have personal experience to a lesser or greater extent. I wouldn't say "wrong", tldr, but "gaps in understanding" and we all have those. I have been reading threads and reports over the last couple of years to try to get a better grip on how adoption works currently.

OP and matimeo, in terms of terminology, I suspect that the terms used by adult adoptees reflect their experiences and feelings. Some will consider they are their adoptive parents' children some may not, some will call them mum and dad some will call them by their first names. Some would consider themselves the parents "own" some would not, and would not have as a child. Etc. Because of that, I think it would be wise to not ever correct someone else's language. Adoptive parents do not have the monopoly to decide what is offensive and what is appropriate, I don't think. Obviously my perspective on this is different from yours - I am not telling you what to do, just offering a different view. I would have been mortified if my adoptive parents had corrected someone's language!

TearingDownTheWall Fri 19-Aug-16 11:29:09

Jelly, I appreciate you come to these threads from a perspective of your own experience but I do wish you wouldn't make sweeping statements about aspects of adoption that aren't familiar to you. How do you know adopters don't understand what loss/neglect impact is - bearing in mind we deal hour by hour, day by day with the emotional and physical fallout. Have you ever read the confidential reports, documents, legal documentation that we see on our children to help us understand? If not, how do know what they do or don't tell us? Most adopters spend huge amounts of time and energy learning, researching and understanding the current best in class research on these topics. Do you even know any current adopters/adopters to base your generalisations on?

I resent the way you extrapolate your own experience as being facts and then point out others "gaps in knowledge". I have no issue with you sharing your opinion and knowledge based on your own circumstances and learning but when you come to a thread to tell an OP that she should be focused on the huge losses within adoption and not on the linguistics, for me it negates any value I might have taken from it otherwise.

tldr Fri 19-Aug-16 11:43:59

Each to their own and all that jellyfish but my kid would be mortified if someone tried telling her I wasn't her 'real mum'.

I don't get to decide what's offensive across the board, but I do get to know what would hurt my children.

jellyfishschool Fri 19-Aug-16 12:56:59

Tearingdownthewall - I come from a background of abuse/neglect, and I can tell you that a number of posts in this section show a lack of awareness and understanding. Even though the adopters have done training and spent many hours thinking about it and reading up on it. It is also highlighted in reports such as the Bristol report on disruption. This is just an example. I am not going to prove this to you or get into a lengthy bun fight, and if you are determined to see what I write as ignorant crap then that is up to you. Because of our different backgrounds, you would also interpret the materials differently from me, so unless you were willing to discuss in an open minded way, without sarcasm and insults and wrong assumptions, then there is little point taking this further.

Tldr the difference you have highlighted is the point I was making. I do not think it is wise or fair for the adopters to go around correcting other people. It is better surely to explain to your child that you cannot control other people's behaviour (or speech) but you can control your reaction to it?

tldr Fri 19-Aug-16 13:14:25

Can't I do both? I don't believe I indicated I didn't. But if I can stop grandma/auntie/teacher/TA using a word my child finds confusing and hurtful, I will.

TearingDownTheWall Fri 19-Aug-16 13:15:11

Jelly, you may well see what you believe is a lack of awareness on neglect however you have talked here at length about letterbox, contact and here right now about what a poster should take from a programme about adoption. These are you deciding your subjective opinion is correct and asserting what adopters should do, feel or believe. It's exactly what you did here.
It's you deciding and forcing your agenda on whatever topic is to hand. And casually dropping in the Bristol report to somehow back you up is very selective. The report talks about a number of failings, issues, factors and decisions that lead to disruption. Of course some adopters aren't prepared. That doesn't mean your sweeping generalisation that "unless an adopter comes from a background of neglect/abuse and loss from separation they won't understand what it is like" is validated. The OP asked a specific question. You leapt in to tell her it was surprising she didn't ask about a different topic. If you read a thread that you feel your experience shows adopters missing an understanding then that's probably the best one to address it. Not a random post on a differing topic altogether.

You have no idea of my background and don't imply I have been sarcastic or insulting when I have been neither.

anxious123 Wed 24-Aug-16 13:33:29

I'm a birth mum and something that happened to me very recently narked me about terminology.

The social worker who handed me letterbox contact referred to my birth sons parents as his "adopters". To me theyre his parents, biologically or not they are still his parents. And they are apparently told thats how to refer to adopters. It really upset me at the time.

matimeo Thu 25-Aug-16 14:34:17

@anxious123. Good on you for accepting them as such, it can't be easy, but you are dead right. I really wouldn't worry about names, I doubt his parents would mind 'adopters' in this context but if the AO has gone through it's entirely reasonable to ask the SW to use the a nicer and more human phrase in future.

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