When adopting an infant in the US, almost all adoptive parents will be asked to prepare an adoptive parent
portfolio or profile, which is also called a Dear Birth Mother Letter. In fact the preferred term at some agencies is Dear Birthmother Letter, some even require that the portfolio begins with a letter addressed to “Dear Birth Mother”. The problem is that the person reading the letter is not a birthmother and may never be one. She’s an expectant mom who is considering placing her child for adoption. She likely is also considering parenting the child.
Sick of the Word Police
I’m truly the least likely person to play word cop. All the care that must be taken to say exactly the right words wears me out. I’m more of a big picture person, and I care more about what people mean than what exact words they use. But…words matter.
The Pressure of Expectations
No matter how you dice it, the pressure begins when a pregnant woman is matched with an adoptive family. No matter what we say or how we try to give her permission to make the right choice for her child, the reality is that she knows that if she decides to parent, she will break the adoptive parents’ heart.