Adoptees, Adoption, adoptive parents, birth mother, Birth Parents, Open Adoption

Birth Mother’s Day: A Brief History on the Celebration

Does the term Birth Mother’s Day sound familiar to you? This holiday may sound unfamiliar unless you are a part of the adoption community, but that does not diminish its importance. 

What is Birth Mother’s Day?

National Birth Mother’s Day has been celebrated every year, since 1990, on the Saturday before Mother’s Day (which is the second Sunday of May). The holiday was founded by a group of birth mothers led by Mary Jean Wolch-Marsh in Seattle, Washington. These women created this holiday for women like themselves to join together in solidarity and support for one another, right as the rest of the world was prepping to celebrate the mothers parenting their children the following day. 

The Progression of the Purpose Behind the Holiday

The purpose behind Birth Mother’s Day has shifted since its establishment. Initially, the birth mothers founding this holiday were not necessarily looking for recognition from others but to use this day to come together in support of other birth mothers. However, it has become much more common now for other adoption triad members to use this day to celebrate birth mothers and their role in the adoption process. As open adoption has become much more common, so has the recognition of this holiday.

Birth Mother’s Day Controversy

The public’s reaction, specifically birth mothers’ response, to the creation of Birth Mother’s Day was not entirely positive. To some birth mothers, this remains a controversial holiday. The birth mothers against the celebration of Birth Mother’s Day are arguing that they are still mothers and should be celebrated on Mother’s Day, just like every other mother. They may be mothers in a different, non-traditional way, but not allowing them to celebrate the same Mother’s Day as every other mother makes them feel their importance is diminished. However, other birth mothers argue that they enjoy having an entirely separate day to be recognized and allow for a long weekend celebration; there is no right or wrong in this.

How to Celebrate?

The way Birth Mothe’s day is celebrated depends on how open a person’s adoption is. Not every family will celebrate the holiday the same way, and that is okay! Reach out to the birth mother(s) in your life to see how they feel about the holiday and how they wish to go about celebrating! If your birth mother is not in your life, there are other ways to celebrate, such as planting a flower in her honor. Find what works best for you and your situation!


For more information on Birth Mother’s Day, visit the following links:

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