Adoptimist Adoption Blog
May 5, 2016

What Is Birthmother’s Day?

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!

About The Author

Coley Strickland

Nicole “Coley” Strickland has become a strong voice for expectant mothers and birthmothers. At the age of 25, she became a birthmother, lovingly placing her three-day-old baby boy into an open adoption and the arms of his adoptive parents. She and fellow birthmother Leilani Wood went on to found BirthMom Buds, a website and nonprofit organization that provides support to birthmothers.

Coley has further given a voice to the bittersweet turmoil of birthmothers, becoming an active member of the adoption community, writing, speaking and sharing her story with others. In addition to her numerous blogs, she has also been featured on a number of radio programs, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as in the books: How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio by Madeleine Melcher and A Personal Touch on Adoption by Peter Berlin. In addition to her many other roles, Coley has been blessed to parent her special needs son Noah, who along with the son she placed, is the love of her life.

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