I’m A Non-Mom Mom

According to Teleflora, I’m a non-mom mom.

I wasn’t aware of my non-mom mom status until one of the women on my adoption board passed on the information about the lovely Americas Favorite Mom contest being run by Teleflora, with sponsorship by NBC, Kraft, MySpace and Redbook.

The contest seems innocuous enough until you look at the categories of mothers seen on this semifinalist page. Note the description of the non-mom mom: Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. A priceless gift for everybody.

See, isn’t that just special? I’m a non-mom mom, no different from a grandparent or stepmom. So I guess my daughter doesn’t have a real mom…or maybe that would be her firstmom? I don’t know what Teleflora, et al would say about that.

Here’s a description of one of the non-mom moms: She was an adopted child who is now mom to her own daughter, plus six adopted children who started life as “meth babies”. I love that mom to her “own” daughter part.

Well you know what? I’m so sick of this being relegated to second class status because of the state of my reproductive capabilities! I have already taken time from my busy day to call Teleflora and complain about this offensive designation. I will never use them for any floral business that I may have. I plan to let all the sponsors know that as a mother, not an adoptive mom, and not a non-mom mom, I am so disappointed in them.

I’m Zara’s mother…period.

Here is contact information

America’s Favorite Mom
1-800-225-7435
[email protected]

Email for Donny and Marie Osmand
[email protected]
[email protected]

Teleflora
1-800-835-3356
(310) 231-9199 (main corporate headquarters)

Redbook
1-800-888-0008

Kraft Foods
800-323-0768


EDITED TO ADD
On Friday evening, one of the representatives from the Edelman Agency posted in the comments an apology from the contest and Teleflora:

My name is Rebecca, and I work with Edelman on behalf of Teleflora’s “America’s Favorite Mom” program. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this issue. After closer examination, Teleflora recognized how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children… moms who are indeed real moms in every sense of the word. This show of insensitivity was in no way intended and Teleflora offers its deepest apology. It was always Teleflora’s intent to salute and celebrate all moms.

Please know that in response to the concerns expressed, Teleflora immediately change the name of the “Non-Mom” category to “Adopting Moms,” which has already been posted at AmericasFavoriteMom.com.

On behalf of Teleflora, I would like to offer my sincerest best wishes to you on this Mother’s Day.

Despite this, it was clear that they still did not understand. I put my reply in the comments, but I am reposting it here in the post body for easier reading:

While I appreciate your coming to my blog and providing this update about the change in the category, I do not believe that you fully understand the point that I am raising in my post about what it means to be a mother to my daughter.

Yes, it is much better to change the non-mom mom category to “adopting moms,” but the problem remains that you have separated those of us who are mothers through adoption from those mothers who have experienced pregnancy and delivery of their children. Do we really need to be separated in this manner from biological mothers if we are, as you state, mothers who are real moms in every sense of the word?

Instead of treating us differently because of how we added to our family, why not just forget the separate but equal new ideology and just let us be moms, no different from any other mother who is entered into your contest. That would show true fairness and an understanding of the different routes that people often take to become parents.

Were my daughter old enough to enter me in such a contest, I would want her to only have to choose the category of Working Mom for her entry. She shouldn’t even have to consider the category of “Adopting Mom” since her adoption has been done, final and over since she was 7 months old. Adoption is not an ongoing process. After finalization it is over. As such, I’m not her “adopting” or “adopted” mother. I’m simply her mother. And that is what people who have little to no experience with adoption do not seem to understand.

So again, you have made an improvement from an egregiously offensive category title to one that while not as blatantly insulting, still treats my motherhood differently than mothers who conceived, carried and delivered their children in the more “traditional” manner. There is indeed still room for improvement.

Perhaps Edelman should learn a little bit more about adoption and alternative means of family building before they attempt a marketing campaign/contest of this magnitude again.

Published by: teendoc on May 9th, 2008 | Filed under adoption, motherhood, ramblings, Zara



24 Responses to “I’m A Non-Mom Mom”

  1. thalia Says:

    honestly i think the whole tone of the competition is pretty offensive, let alone the egregious categorisation you’ve pointed out. Oh how I hate the ‘own’ children point.

    In addition the comment about the woman who chose to give birth to her quints ama is quite awful. I’m happy to join the boycott!

    thalias last blog post..Back to the peesticks

  2. beagle Says:

    That just takes the cake.
    Honestly.

  3. Rebecca B. Says:

    My name is Rebecca, and I work with Edelman on behalf of Teleflora’s “America’s Favorite Mom” program. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this issue. After closer examination, Teleflora recognized how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children… moms who are indeed real moms in every sense of the word. This show of insensitivity was in no way intended and Teleflora offers its deepest apology. It was always Teleflora’s intent to salute and celebrate all moms.

    Please know that in response to the concerns expressed, Teleflora immediately change the name of the “Non-Mom” category to “Adopting Moms,” which has already been posted at AmericasFavoriteMom.com.

    On behalf of Teleflora, I would like to offer my sincerest best wishes to you on this Mother’s Day.

  4. Liana Says:

    Rebecca,

    While I appreciate your coming to my blog and providing this update about the change in the category, I do not believe that you fully understand the point that I am raising in my post about what it means to be a mother to my daughter.

    Yes, it is much better to change the non-mom mom category to “adopting moms,” but the problem remains that you have separated those of us who are mothers through adoption from those mothers who have experienced pregnancy and delivery of their children. Do we really need to be separated in this manner from biological mothers if we are, as you state, mothers who are real moms in every sense of the word?

    Instead of treating us differently because of how we added to our family, why not just forget the separate but equal new ideology and just let us be moms, no different from any other mother who is entered into your contest. That would show true fairness and an understanding of the different routes that people often take to become parents.

    Were my daughter old enough to enter me in such a contest, I would want her to only have to choose the category of Working Mom for her entry. She shouldn’t even have to consider the category of “Adopting Mom” since her adoption has been done, final and over since she was 7 months old. Adoption is not an ongoing process. After finalization it is over. As such, I’m not her “adopting” or “adopted” mother. I’m simply her mother. And that is what people who have little to no experience with adoption do not seem to understand.

    So again, you have made an improvement from an egregiously offensive category title to one that while not as blatantly insulting, still treats my motherhood differently than mothers who conceived, carried and delivered their children in the more “traditional” manner. There is indeed still room for improvement.

    Lianas last blog post..I’m A Non-Mom Mom

  5. Rebecca B. Says:

    Liana – Thanks so much for the response. I completely understand your perspective. By including various categories, Teleflora was hoping to solicit nominations from a broader audience.

    It was obviously a huge oversight.

    And I really like the way you phrased it, that “adoption is not an ongoing process”…that’s very well put.

  6. Connie Says:

    This is truly incredible! What is even more surprising is that Teleflora would be so callous with their categories when Marie Osmond has adopted at least 4 of her 8 children. I wonder if anyone would dare call her a “Non-Mom”. Very upsetting.

  7. Karin Says:

    Greetings from a non-mom to be. I just wrote post on my blog concerning this very topic. As abhorred I am about the treatment of adoption in their contest I find all of the categories to be strange and I find them unnecessary. I think many moms could fit nearly all the categories.

    Karins last blog post..will all non-moms please stand up, please stand up

  8. Suzanne Says:

    It really bothers me when the media makes distinctions about adopted children. Note how often Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s older children are identified as their “adopted” children.

    Enjoy your day today, you deserve it – you are a “real” mom!

  9. Flicka Says:

    Way to go, Teleflora. Beacuse Mother’s Day didn’t suck hard enough already for those of us stuck in infertility hell, you had to go and extend the suckage by telling us that those of us who are adopting aren’t really going to be moms! Fantastic! I have to go throw up now.

    Liana, thanks for being articulate for all of us. I don’t have the mental energy right now. You’re amazing. And very much a REAL mom.

  10. Flicka Says:

    Way to go, Teleflora. Beacuse Mother’s Day didn’t suck hard enough already for those of us stuck in infertility hell, you had to go and extend the suckage by telling us that those of us who are adopting aren’t really going to be moms! Fantastic! I have to go throw up now.

    Liana, thanks for being articulate for all of us. I don’t have the mental energy right now. You’re amazing. And very much a REAL mom.

    Flickas last blog post..I’m so tired.

  11. Denise Says:

    I am speechless. Unbelievable…..

  12. Yolanda Says:

    Ridiculous on the catgetories- a Mom is a Mom period. Happy Mother’s Day to one of the realest Moms i know

    Yolandas last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day

  13. Wishes for Today // Welcome To The Dollhouse Says:

    […] You Said… Yolanda on May 11, 2008, 10:26 pm in I’m A Non-Mom Mom: Ridiculous on the catgetories- a Mom is a Mom period. Happy Mother’s Day to […]Denise on […]

  14. The Juggle - WSJ.com : Non-Mom Mishap at 'America's Favorite Mom' Contest Says:

    […] My friend later emailed that an adoptive-parents group had sent around Teleflora?s phone number for complaints, and that was far from the only opposition. All around the Web there were outraged responses like this one, from Liana on the personal blog Welcome to the Dollhouse: […]

  15. Julie Says:

    Unreal. Thanks Liana! You always manage to put my thoughts into words (that can be shared with the general public).

    Julies last blog post..Forgot to ask….

  16. Tara Says:

    I was confused when I first read your blog entry because I think by the time I clicked over to the favorite mom contest site, they had changed the category name. And/or maybe I was just not reading clearly enough. 🙂

    Anyway, just wanted to say I’m sorry for such insensitivity–it’s really hard to believe. I am glad they changed the terminology and issued an apology, but I am sorry for everyone who was hurt by that.

    Way to go, Liana!

    Taras last blog post..Happy Mother’s Day!

  17. The Cookie Says:

    Outrageous!!!!
    http://lifeisacookie.wordpress.com/2008/05/12/non-sense/

  18. Louise Says:

    I am glad you called them. It really shocked me and made me quite nauseous really. How will our daughters react when they see shows like that one day? Ugg.

  19. phyllis Says:

    this is quite unbelievable. wow. your daughter has a great mom – it sounds like you are showing her how to be a strong and powerful woman! good for you for calling them out on this and not accepting their first “solution.” they should be ashamed.

    phylliss last blog post..How to be a 2-year-old (BSM)

  20. Aaron Says:

    Thanks so much for the contact information. I became aware of this from my non-mom wife, and sent them email on the addresses I could find. I suppose I would be a non-dad. I also will never order from teleflora – ever. In fact, just today someone mentioned teleflora and I advised them not to use them and pointed to a news article re: non-moms.

    We chose adoption even though we could conceive. I love my kids like they are my own, well, because they ARE my own. That is something the people at teleflora simply don’t get.

  21. Rhonda Says:

    I also wrote about the topic on my blog, a couple of times, and I was absolutely stunned at the insensitivity shown on behalf of the contest organizers.

    While I am in the *long* process of adopting my daughter from China, which was made even more heartbreaking by the recent events of yesterday, how dare anyone refer to any of us adoptive moms as ‘non-moms’!

    I checked my statcounter and noticed that I had a visit from someone from Edelman, but they didn’t bother to post a comment on my blog. I guess they didn’t deem me ‘non-mom mom’ worthy enough. 😉

    Rhondas last blog post..Earthquake…

  22. Sylvie Says:

    WOW! I am SHOCKED I can’t believe this! This is absolutly crazy. Even though I am reading this late I am SOO Glad I did not order from Telaflora for Mother’s day.

    Sylvies last blog post..

  23. Z Says:

    I completely get you on this one. Lately I have seen FAR too much of this kind of thing. “Oh, yes, one is his, the other is ADOPTED!” Even my own sister has thrown the “she’s adopted” card down at me because my father chose to make me part of our family. So what? My mom and her two sisters were “adopted” – one was and the other two could never get their “real” families to give away their rights but nevertheless they called my grandmother “Mother” and my mom sent her a dozen roses on the anniversary of her coming to their family every single year until she died. I find it all SO offensive. Adopted is NOT a second class citizen who may or may not be given back at any time. Why do people somehow expect the adoptee to walk away when they’re 18? I don’t get it. And adoptive moms??? Why that was even singled out boggles the mind.

    Zs last blog post..Meltdown At The Opera

  24. Marcia Says:

    After our initial dismay when reading about this contest, my husband and I spent a few minutes coming up with additional categories for this contest. Obviously, all categories are insulting so we just continued the theme. How about –

    “Best Polygamist Mom” – (any comment Donny & Marie)

    “Best Trans-Species Mom” – (this is for all you hand puppets mothering geese or other species of animals)

    Can you think a few categories for Teleflora to add to next year’s contest? Let’s email them!

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