How To Piss Off Adoptive Parents

NBC has an upcoming program called "America's Favorite Mom":

Teleflora presents America's Favorite Mom," an NBC prime-time television event hosted by Donny and Marie Osmond. In addition, there will be special cameo appearances by Christina Aguilera, Tony Hawk, Alicia Keys, Hulk Hogan, Naomi Judd, Amy Poehler, music by the Dey ( and more throughout the broadcast. At the end of the special, the Osmonds will crown one lucky winner, "America's Favorite Mom."

I'd rather de-grout a prison camp shower stall with my tongue than watch that. But in addition to being an aesthetic abomination akin to Hallmark throwing up on a collection of Hummel figurines, its producers are also assholes about adoption.

You see, NBC's producers put adoptive mothers into the category of "non-moms": "The non-mom mom: Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. A priceless gift for everybody." I suppose that makes me a non-dad as well. It's going to be a pisser finding a Father's Day card for that. Think it's just a stray poor choice of words? Check out how they describe one of the semi-finalists: "She was an adopted child who is now mom to her own daughter, plus six adopted children who started life as 'meth babies'." In other words, there's her own child, then there's the adopted children, who belong in another category, nor her own. NBC doesn't want you to confuse them.

I expect people not familiar with adoption to use adoption-ignorant or adoption-unfriendly language on occasion. But a major television network creating a show devoted to celebrating motherhood ought to have more of a clue. Adoption boards are in a fury over this one, and many people are contacting NBC and its sponsors. The mothers who they've insulted are part of the target audience for the show and the sponsors. Boo. Hiss. Dumbasses.

If you'd like to discuss this or other issues about adoption, don't forget our new adoption forum.

Edit: NBC has now changed it to "The Adopting Mom" — though it still hasn't changed the obnoxious own child/adopted child language. Here's how it used to look:


Last 5 posts by Ken White


  1. Patrick says

    The primary sponsor is Teleflora, an online flower delivery service. I'm sure they'd be interested in hearing from adoptive fathers (who I'm sure buy most of their flowers) two days before Mothers' Day.

    They can be contacted here:

    I'd been planning to send flowers to my mom in addition to visiting her and giving the real present, as she's been in the hospital. Out of deference to you Ken, I'll use FTD,

  2. Mike says

    I note how you used "parent" in your posting Ken. Is it possible that when someone uses the term "Mother" or "Mom" they are implying it means that the individual in question physically spawned the child?

    Similar to how people suggest that "marriage" is the union between a man and a woman – and nothing else. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just making an observation.

    I don't know what language you'd use (in this case)_ to acknowledge the female. "America's Favorite Female Parent" doesn't sound as catchy. And quite frankly, it insults me.

  3. Patrick says

    We don't have kids Mike, nor do we intend to have them, and I certainly have no dog in this fight. But I've always considered adoptive mothers to be just that: mothers. I daresay that's probably the case for an overwhelming majority of people, not to mention American law and custom.

    And this isn't a show about linguistics, semantics, or legal definitions. It's a stupid filler show intended to draw in people who have nothing better to do than watch tv shows about America's favorite mom (the answer is my mom), and the producers made a mistake which, when pointed out to them, should have been corrected immediately.

    A very expensive mistake, I hope. Now they've taken a fluff television show and turned it into an attack on the way a large number of parents view themselves. There are millions of adoptive parents in this country, and they buy their share of GE lightbulbs and flowers. What on earth was NBC thinking?

  4. Four Kitties says

    This isn't about the word mother being technically defined as a female parent. It's about Mom — the one who raised you, the one who made your lunches and checked your homework, the one who cleaned up after you when you were sick, the one who put bandanges on your knees and kissed it to make it better, the one who made sure you had on clean underwear and taught you to look both ways. You know, Mom.

    An error such as this tells me that too many people still don't *get* adoption, which I find horribly sad.

  5. Al says

    Sorry about that. But, unless I'm mistaken as to why, that was a total rookie move.

  6. Gibbie says

    They've changed the description of the woman with seven children now. They've also added a mea culpa at the beginning of the page. They must have been hammered yesterday, as well they should have.