Tuesday, October 11, 2011


“You’re not what I expected.”

Someone who had never met me in person but knew I was a birthmother said this to me upon meeting me. I guess by their comment that they had some preconceived ideas of how a birthmother might appear or act and I’m also guessing by their comment that I didn’t meet their preconceived notion of a birthmother.

I jokingly asked if I was better or worse than what they expected and they responded with better. Perhaps they were expecting someone younger, like a teenager or perhaps they were expecting someone who is uneducated. Maybe they were expecting someone who wasn’t parenting a child or maybe someone who isn’t married. I really don’t know; I’m not really sure what they were expecting! But whatever it was, I wasn’t it.

One thing I learned quickly once becoming active in the birthmother and adoption community is that birthmothers come in all different shapes, sizes, races, ethnicities, backgrounds, levels of education, etc. We (birthmothers) have chosen adoption for different reasons and we have varying different types of adoption and thoughts and views on adoption. But there is that one common bond that draws us all together – our (birth) children.

There is no “look” or “age” that predicts who is going to choose adoption and become a birthmother. And we may or may not be what someone else is expecting when they think of the word birthmother. The truth of the matter is we each define ourselves instead of our choices defining us.

Photo Credit


  1. Thank you.. I wish I could have expressed it as well as you have done... each adoption story is unique.... unfortunately some folks think that they if they know one birth mother, then they know us all.

  2. I introduced our daughter's birthmother to some friends recently and they had the same reaction. They said she was not what they had imagined. They were quite taken back with how much they had in common and enjoyed being around her. It made me kind of smile to know that perhaps we just helped broaden a bit more understanding that birthmothers are not all the same! Thanks for sharing.

  3. So true, so many people are surprised to learn that I am a birth mother. I mean, I am a single mom now and since having my daughter people give me this look like they cant believe it. I think people have unrealistic expectations of birth mothers in both directions. They seem to either think we are poor and uneducated young girls, or that we will be saints after placing because we "learned our lesson". I can still be educated, I can be any economic class (and have been all of them at some point) and I can certainly still make mistakes. I am not exempt from mistakes after this. Even my own parents seemed to have unrealistic expectations for me after placement. They thought I would go back to church, they thought I would marry a nice mormon boy. I didnt do any of that, I moved away, worked on sundays, dated lots of guys. I live with my boyfriend now, and have a child which I chose to parent (much to the dismay of my grandmother- lets just say I have family that is super judgemental). My son will grow up mormon just like I did, not because I think that is the best religion (I dont really like any religious groups) but because I can respect the beliefs of people without having to believe the same things. Anyway, sorry for the long post :D I tend to go off on tangents with this stuff... I feel a new post coming on...

  4. My daughter's adoptive parents were with me in the hospital the whole time after I delivered. At one point, my room nurse asked me who they were, and I told her that they were the people I'd chosen to raise my child. She gave me the strangest look and said "You don't seem the type..." If I hadn't been so exhausted, I suspect I would have given this woman a few choice words.

    I've met several of the adoptive parents' friends, but the ones I don't know ask the stereotypical questions about me, like whether or not I'm really young, poor, an addict, etc. The adoptive parents, being the amazing people they are, answer with "You know, its so funny that people ask us that all the time, considering its no one's business but hers." I love them so much for this.