Search icon


04th May 2017

Mum of adopted child hits back after being told she’s not “a real mum”

A mum has hit back at a shocking accusation that she isn’t a “real mum” because she adopted her son.

A mum, posting under the name Vietnamazinggg, has taken to the online discussion forum Reddit to share her parenting experience after a woman on Facebook told her she wasn’t a real mum because she didn’t give birth to her son.

In a moving response the mum shared some of the details of the painful road to adoption:

“I did not give birth to my child. I did not get to feel him growing within me, or hold him against my skin when he was born. Perhaps by your definition, my child is not a part of me – he does not resemble me or my wife.

Let me tell you what being a parent is to me.

I didn’t labour for hours for this child, I laboured for YEARS. I waited for years to be told that we had been chosen, that we were finally going to be allowed to be parents.

I didn’t feel labour pains. I felt the incredible pain of emptiness in my heart and home as my wife and I yearned to begin our family through adoption.

I didn’t get to wake up in the middle of the night and nurse my sweet child. I did, though, spend many nights lying awake and praying to whomever might be listening to let us be next. Asking myself why we hadn’t been chosen yet. Pouring over adoption profiles and sending endless e-mail inquiries on children available for adoption and being told no, no, no over and over again. And like you said, “you can’t possibly understand that feeling.” I feel certain you have absolutely no idea.

A child lives to depend on me – you’re right. My child has been let down by everyone else in his life. You think I am not losing sleep? He may not wake me up to feed him every couple hours, but he screams out in his sleep – no doubt reliving past traumas from the life he led before being adopted.

Not every experience is your experience. Not every mother is a mother because she gave birth. Not every child is yours or a “part of you” because you grew it inside of you.

My child will always be a part of me, because we’re fighting for this life together.”

The post has received a lot of attention, with commenters drawing comparisons to the challenges that step-parents face:

“I have occasionally had a few obnoxious comments about how I am not a ‘real parent’ to my stepdaughter. I feed her, provide for her, advise her, love her, and I’m the one there to talk when she is upset. I wasn’t aware that my vagina was an important part of our relationship.”

Adult adoptees also posted in support of their own adoptive parents:

“I can honestly say that my life wouldn’t be what I have and love now if I hadn’t been adopted, or if I had been adopted by anyone else.”

“I was adopted, the only person I see as my mom is the woman who raised me. I don’t give a sh*t about the woman who pushed me out of her body. She didn’t love me, she didn’t raise me, she didn’t feed me, soothe me at night.”

Join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilydotie