The Huffington Post Adoption Essay

(c) La Luz Photography

Too Many Real Moms

A few months ago I heard an interview on NPR with Nancy L Segal, the author of “Someone Else’s twin: The True Story of Babies Switched at Birth.” The book told the tale of three babies and what happened when one singleton newborn was accidently switched with an identical twin. The “twins” were raised as fraternal and no one knew about the mix-up until they were adults.

It’s a complicated story and in the interview there was a lot of discussion of the various parents of these three girls and how they felt. The interviewer, I presume in an effort to simplify things, used the term “real” mother or “real” parents on several occasions to indicate the biological parent of the child.

If the biological parent is the “real” parent then what is the term for the parent who raised the child? The parent-in-practice? Parent-in-life? Bed-sheet-changer? At some point, it seems like 18+ years of lunch-packing should earn a parent the title of “real,” no?

Click here to read the rest of the essay in The Huffington Post.

4 thoughts on “The Huffington Post Adoption Essay

  1. Tami

    That is utterly lame. Isn’t bio-mom pretty standard these days? Don’t we all believe that the parent who raises you is the “real” parent?!

  2. Beth

    You are amazing Katherine! I love reading your stuff, and can’t wait to get my hands on your book 🙂

  3. Barb

    Loved the essay on Huffpost and shared with my friends, many who are adoptive parents. BUT I love this picture even more than the essay. Oh my goodness! J’s smile is priceless and look how big K is getting!!!!

  4. Harriet Glynn

    WONDERFUL essay! Love how you articulate the complexity. I just read a post by a gay woman couple who have two kids through adoption and the kids call them both mommy and their birth mom Mommy but it’s like Mommy A. Mommy B. and Mommy C.

    I think we’re all real just different.

    We are my son’s parents. We are very real. His birthmother and father are also real but weren’t ready to be day-to-day parents. They made a conscious, brave and difficult choice to find him an adoptive family. All very real.

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