Are titles important in the adoption triad?

There are sacred titles. Mom is sacred. My mother is relatively sacred. My daughter, my son also sacred, Are these titles reserved then for the mother who raises you, reserved for the children you raise? For me the answer is yes, representing relationships rooted in time and place and memory. I refer to my birth mother by her first name. It feels right. When I talk about my birth mother to others, I simply say, “my birth mother, Pat.” And please let’s get away from the title biological mother….after all they birthed us and biological reminds me of high school and dissecting frogs. I refer to my birth daughter as my birth daughter, when talking to others and she calls me Julie. Saying otherwise, negates the truth, the circumstances of our births and our adoptions. It’s tricky and can sting, but if respect and love are at the core, time will allow us to find our roles and settle in.


  1. I agree! I found my birth mother a year ago and I call her Hazel. We communicate on a regular basis, though we have yet to meet in person. Many miles between us.
    "Mother" is reserved for my mother who adopted me. And, just doesn't feel right to call a woman I have not even hugged yet, Mom.

  2. I agree. I found out about a year ago that my birth mother had been dead for several years, but I refer to her as my birth mother, or Doris. I have a mother, she raised me from 5 days old.