We all know about Mother’s Day as we are bombarded by commercials and aisles in the stores dedicated to Mother’s Day gifts and cards. But there is a smaller holiday that some of those in the adoption community celebrate known as Birthmother’s Day.
Birthmother’s Day was created by a group of birthmothers who met at a support group in the 1990’s in Seattle, Washington. They recognized that Mother’s Day is a very painful holiday for most birthmothers, as they often feel unsupported and forgotten, as their motherhood isn’t often acknowledged. Especially if they are not parenting other children. This group of birthmothers wanted to create a day to recognize their birth-motherhood and support one another at the same time. Birthmother’s Day is recognized the Saturday before Mother’s Day every year, significant because the motherhood of a birthmother comes before the motherhood of an adoptive mother.
Over the years, some in the adoption community have embraced Birthmother’s Day. Many adoption agencies and support organizations host Birthmother’s Day luncheons and celebrations as a way to provide support and community to birthmothers during a hard and emotional weekend.
But not all birthmothers celebrate or like the idea of Birthmother’s Day. They feel that as birth mothers we shouldn’t need to have a separate day to celebrate and acknowledge our motherhood; we should simply celebrate on Mother’s Day with everyone else.
If you are an adoptive parent, family member, or friend of a birthmother and are wondering on which day you should acknowledge her – Mother’s Day or Birthmother’s Day – simply ask which she’d prefer. But if you feel uncomfortable asking, then just acknowledge her on one day or the other. As a birthmother, I’d much rather be remembered on one or the other than not at all!