A Reddit user took to the online social forum to respond to an accusation that she isn’t a “real mom” because she adopted her son.
Vietnamazinggg says a woman on Facebook told her she wasn’t a real parent because she didn’t give birth to her son. The boy was adopted by the Redditor and her wife, and from the sounds of it, their journey was as emotionally fraught as a live birth is painful.
“I didn’t labour for hours for this child, I laboured for YEARS,” she writes. “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.”
She goes on to say that although she didn’t experience the same things as mothers of newborns, like midnight feedings, she has laid awake at night hoping that she and her wife would be chosen as adoptive parents. And she is still woken in her sleep by her child’s cries.
“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,” she says.
Her post has garnered nearly 200 comments, mostly from people who share her outrage, and it sparked a conversation about the different forms parenthood can take. Many drew comparisons to the stigmas that stepparents face, as well as the shame thrust upon women who deliver their babies via C-section.
“I have occasionally had a few obnoxious comments about how I am not a ‘real parent’ to my stepdaughter,” writes a user by the name owlandfinch. “I parent my child with my brain and my heart. 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.”
Another user commented how his wife was once told that her C-section meant she hadn’t actually given birth to their two children.
Many children of adoptive parents also spoke out, defending their upbringing.
“I was adopted, the only person I see as my mom is the woman who raised me,” says SEND_MORE_PIZZA. “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.”
“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,” writes a user by the name Ghibbitude.
According to Statistics Canada, Canadians adopted 2,127 children from abroad in 2009, “continuing an upward trend for a third consecutive year.” The majority of children are adopted from China, with the U.S., Ethiopia, Vietnam and Haiti following behind. However, the rates of international adoptions have dropped dramatically since 2010 due to stricter international laws and policies.
The Adoption Council of Canada says that one in five Canadians is “touched” by adoption, whether they are adopted themselves, have an adoptive family member, are adoptive parents, or are birth parents or relatives.
For those who didn’t want to read through her whole Reddit “rant” or needed to scroll to the bottom for a concluding statement, Vietnamazinggg summed up her feelings succinctly: “TLDR: Fu*k you. I’m a mom.”