birth mother


: the mother of a child when the child is born
specifically : a woman who gave birth to a child who has been adopted
They had turned to an open adoption after pursuing infertility treatments for 18 years, and the birth mother had agreed to relinquish custody at the hospital. Emily Nussbaum

Examples of birth mother in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to Franklin, his birth mother, then a young teen, was unable to care for him. Janine Rubenstein, Peoplemag, 15 Sep. 2023 My father was adopted and has never known the identity of his birth mother. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 13 Sep. 2023 The first Leanna’s mother was never listed by name, but court documents showed Leanna Donnegan Knox was free because of her birth mother’s race, her namesake said. Darcel Rockett, Chicago Tribune, 10 Sep. 2023 Kids would talk casually about staying with their birth mother for the weekend, or their birth mother coming to watch their baseball games. Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker, 3 Apr. 2023 The company also introduced recovery leave for birth mothers of six to eight weeks in addition to maternity leave, according to Bloomberg. Prarthana Prakash, Fortune, 30 Aug. 2023 She was abandoned in a hospital by her birth mother and was adopted by Joan and John Resch, the documentary explains. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 4 Aug. 2023 Fearing that her future newborn will be taken from her and become trapped in the system, Gia considers the offer of a sympathetic social worker named Carmen (Erika Alexander) for an open adoption, in which Gia, as birth mother, would be a part of her child’s life. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 13 July 2023 Mahadevan’s next feature is an as-yet-untitled project based on a true incident where the protagonist, who is adopted, visits his birth mother to find out why he was abandoned at birth. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 9 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'birth mother.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1906, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of birth mother was in 1906

Dictionary Entries Near birth mother

Cite this Entry

“Birth mother.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Legal Definition

birth mother

birth moth·​er
: the woman who gave birth to a child especially as distinguished from the child's adoptive mother
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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