Mother’s Day Weekend is upon us! But don’t forget the equally important but lesser known holiday: Birth Mother’s Day!

Birth Mother’s Day is held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day – May 10th this year. It is a special day set aside to honor a child’s birth mother and is becoming more celebrated each year. But many birth mothers do not even know that this special day exists to honor them!

FOR BIRTH MOTHERS: Mother’s Day is a wonderful day for adoptive mothers but can be difficult for a woman who placed her child for adoption, as she sees mothers around her honored and celebrated. Just like with any grieving process, anniversaries, birthdays or holidays can bring more thoughts of the adoption. Of course, every woman’s experience is different, and you will handle your grief and loss in your own way. Remember that it’s ok to feel grief and loss for your child around Mother’s Day. As Michelle, a birth mom who works with American Adoptions says:

“It is important to know that you’re going to go through the stages of grief and loss over and over again, several times afterwards. Little things and big events in your life might trigger some of the emotions, and you might start the grief process again. Graduating college did that for me. Also when Ryan turned five and started kindergarten. But it wasn’t as intense. Each time, it gets less and less intense because you learn how to grieve and what works for you. You also learn to warn the significant people in your life that you’re going through a hard time. If you need to go back to counseling, do it. There’s nothing wrong with that.”

Michelle also helps her to keep her decision in perspective:

“It’s also important to remember that any decision you’re making during the pregnancy and after is in your child’s best interest. I always tell women that, no matter what, their job as parents is to make the best decisions for their child. If choosing adoption is making the best decision for your child, then that’s being a good parent. Just because you’re not the one physically parenting them doesn’t mean that you’re not a good parent to them.”

FOR ADOPTIVE PARENTS: It’s important to take time to honor your child’s birth mother and help her remember each and every year what a great thing she did by choosing adoption for her child. Sending pictures and letters throughout the year is one way to help birth mothers feel comfort. If you have ongoing contact and a relationship with your child’s birth mother (even if only pictures and letters), think about sending her a Birth Mother’s Day card to say you are thinking of her on this day. Or send an adoption book like Hero. Homemade gifts are always sweet, too.

Families who don’t have contact with their child’s birth mother can still take part in this special day. Create a special tradition or ceremony within your family to honor your child’s birth mother. Make a donation to a charity in honor of your child’s birth mother, or reminisce and tell your child’s adoption story as a family. There is plenty of information about this holiday and the special ways that people celebrate it online.

Remember, celebrating Birth Mother’s Day does not take away from your role as your child’s mother. Think of Birth Mother’s Day as the perfect prelude to Mother’s Day. How wonderful for your family to be able to honor this very special woman whose gift allows you to celebrate Mother’s Day the very next day!

Some people have different viewpoints and feel that Birth Mother’s Day does the exact opposite of what it was created to do. Some think that a birth mother should be recognized and celebrated on Mother’s Day also, and there should not be differentiation because an adopted child has two mothers with different roles. Whatever your specific beliefs or relationships are, we encourage you to take time to reflect on, celebrate and honor both mothers’ irreplaceable roles in your child’s life!