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
(310) 231-9199 (main corporate headquarters)
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.