3 Reasons Not To Vilify My Kid’s Birth Mother.

Author of 4 books, podcaster, parent trainer, wife and mother.

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There's often an assumption that since our children are adopted, or have been adopted from the foster care system, their birth mothers must be bad people, or have done some really bad stuff. The truth is, this is an unfair assumption to make about a human being.

We’ve often wondered how someone, who knows very little about our children, their story, or their birth mother’s story, can point a finger and judge. It’s not in our DNA to do this to any human being. Certainly not the person who gave our children life. We believe birth mom’s should never be vilified. Here are some big reasons why..

Reason #1- Mom’s are off limits!

  • Yo Momma so dumb it took her 2 hours to watch 60 min.
  • Yo Momma so old she was a waitress at the last supper.
  • Yo Momma so poor she can’t afford to pay attention.

Remember “Yo Momma” jokes? Who doesn’t? I have to admit, there is a small part of my humor that is still stuck in Jr. High. There’s something about momma jokes. They’re funny, clever and a little risky. We all know it’s ok to poke fun but most of us will admit that insulting a person’s mother is cause for a schoolyard brawl.

More often than not, the conclusions people draw about our children’s birth parents are far from funny. They are not flattering and they are often teetering on the line of curious and rude. Unlike momma jokes, the exaggerated insults are assumed to be true. Maybe you are wondering if your comment about a child’s birth mother is inappropriate. A good rule of thumb is to return to the middle school way of thinking: You can tease someone about their clothes, you can raz someone about their grades, but do NOT make fun of someone’s Momma!

Reason #2- Mom’s are part of a child’s identity and therefore off limits!

Conversations about my child’s birth mother aren’t inherently bad. Sometimes questions are great. Some questions or observations just show interest. My kids like to talk about their birth mothers, just like I love to talk about my mother. I love when someone notices that I have my mom’s freckles or my dad’s blue eyes. My children feel the same way. They love to hear that they have their birth mom’s beautiful smile or talent for drawing. All of my children know the good and the bad of their own story. They are also just like you and me. They want to know that they are tied to something good. They do not need you to color their story with your uncalled for vilification.

Reason #3- I will never ask about your mom’s baggage because Mom’s are off limits!

Did your mother do something bad? Do you want to talk about that right now? Do you want me to discuss every shortcoming your mother has at the next church picnic? No, of course not. Because that’s called gossip and it is inappropriate. You deserve discretion. Your mother is a human and she deserves respect. For some reason foster and adoptive children are not afforded this privacy or this regard. The good and the bad of their story is theirs alone to tell. Do not ask if she was using drugs. Do not ask if she was a “crack-head.” If you are about to say or ask something about someone’s birth mother, stop and run it through your own head. Picture your own mom as you formulate your thought. If it would insult your mom, don’t say it about my kid’s mom.

My children’s birth mother is not a saint. Neither am I. We both wholeheartedly admit to our own shortcomings. I also know that my children see themselves mirrored in my reflection. They are watchfully creating opinions of their own identity based on what they see reflected in their birth mom, in me and in the world around them. Please remember that when you vilify my child’s birth mother you damage my child’s tender heart.

Have you encountered judgement aimed at your child’s birth parent? How have you responded? Share your answer in the comment section.

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Mike and Kristin Berry are the Co-Founders of The Honestly Adoption Company and have been parents for nearly two decades. They are the authors of six books, and the host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is the executive assistant to Mike and Kristin Berry. And she is the best in the land. In addition to providing a warm and friendly response to the many emails our company receives on a weekly basis, she also manages Mike and Kristin’s speaking and meeting schedules, and makes sure that team events go off without a hitch.

Nicole Goerges

Nicole Goerges is a Content Contributor & Special Consultant for The Honestly Adoption Company. She works with Mike and Kristin as a recurring co-host for the Honestly Adoption Podcast, and co-host of Kitchen Table Talks, exclusive video content for Oasis Community, along with Kristin. She is a fellow adoptive mom, and former foster parent.

Matt McCarrick

Matt McCarrick is the Content Production Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. If you’ve loved listening to our podcast, or enjoyed any of the videos trainings we’ve published, you have Matt to thank. He oversees all of our content production, from video edits, to making sure the tags are correct on YouTube, to uploading new videos to Oasis, to hitting publish on a podcast episode, he’s a content wonder!

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson is the Community Engagement Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends the bulk of her time interacting with, and helping, people through our various social media channels, as well as providing support for Oasis Community members through chat support or Zoom calls. In the same spirit as Beaver, Karen is also passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and supported. Karen is also an FASD trainer and travels often, equipping and encouraging parents.

Beaver Trumble

Beaver Trumble is the Customer Care Specialist for The Honestly Adoption Company. Chances are, if you have been in need of technical support, or forgotten your password to one of our courses, you have interacted with Beaver. He is an absolute pro at customer care. In fact, he single-handedly revolutionized our customer care department last year. Beaver is passionate about connecting with parents and making them feel loved and encouraged.

Kristin Berry

Kristin Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Content Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. She spends most of her time researching and connecting with guests for our podcast, as well as direction, designing and publishing a lot of the content for our social media channels, blog and podcast. She loves to connect with fellow parents around the world, and share the message of hope with them.

Mike Berry

Mike Berry is the co-founder of, and Chief Marketing Specialist for, The Honestly Adoption Company. He spends the bulk of his time and energy designing and building many of the resources you see within our company, as well as social media and email campaigns. His goal is to use media as a means to encourage and equip parents around the world. He is also the co-host of The Honestly Adoption Podcast.