“Mum and Dad” or “Auntie and Uncle”

EVER SINCE H entered our lives, we had pondered on the question of our identity to him.

In the beginning, our intention was to maintain our identity to him as Uncle Andy and Auntie Nadia. He has a mum and a dad and we did not want to take that away from him.

Our children, when playing and talking to H, would also refer to us as Auntie and Uncle too. When we were out, people would refer to us as his mum and dad in error (which was natural)

As H developed and took his first steps into speech and identification, he changed our decision quite quickly. After hearing our children refer to us as mum and dad continuously, one morning he stood at the stair gate in the lounge and bellowed at the top of his voice “Mummma!” as Nadia was in the kitchen preparing breakfast.

After a few weeks of listening to each other correcting him (and continually correcting others), we had a conversation about whether this was the correct thing to be doing. We spoke to a few other people, our children and other family members and decided it would probably be healthier for H to be able to call us Mum and Dad instead.

At the time of writing, H has not seen his birth mother for 9 months and his birth father for almost a year. He is now a little over two.

When listening to each other correcting him, we felt as though we were alienating him from our family, pointing out the fact that he was different and he was “not allowed” to call us mummy or daddy – which we felt would effect him growing up.

Our own son has times when he struggles to, when speaking to H about us, still refers to us as Uncle Andy and Auntie Nadia.

At Christmas, we sent a card, letter and a gift from H to his birth mother. In it, we referred to her as Mummy [her name]. This was not overly well received by her [but due to our court order she could not complain to us].

People in a similar situation to us often refer to the birth mother as their “Tummy Mummy”… (not sure what they call the birth father in that situation though!!!). Tummy Mummy or Mummy [her name] and Daddy [his name] will probably be the way we go.

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