Numerous Departments of Public Health across the United States are opting to replace “mother” and “father” for “birth parent” and “non-birth parent,” respectively.
A trove of scanned documents from the The Connecticut Department of Public Health circulating on social media reveal their official childbirth forms have been altered to substitute mother with “birth parent” and father with “non-birth parent.”
The documents surfaced on Twitter Friday after a Connecticut father, whose wife is expecting to deliver their second child at home, shared them with a third party. The paperwork was noticeably different from the first time the couple did a home birth.
1/ 🧵The Connecticut Department of Public Health has removed the words “mother” and “father” from all medical paperwork surrounding childbirth. Mothers are now the “birth parent,” and fathers the “non-birth parent.” pic.twitter.com/GwEdt34DFP
— Colin Wright (@SwipeWright) September 9, 2022
The “Registration of a Home Birth Parent’s Guide” contains instructions and forms for the “birth parent” and “non-birth parent” to obtain the child’s birth certificate, and a variety of data-collecting forms requesting background information and medical data, affidavits, and immunization records from the “birth parent” and “non-birth parent.”
The “Birth Parent’s Worksheet for Child Birth Certificate (v2003),” revised in January 2022, is also found online. A previous version from 2016 and 2017 shows the change from “Mother’s Worksheet” to “Birth Parent’s Worksheet.” The Daily Wire reached out to the Connecticut Department of Public Health for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.
The Head Start program of the Department of Health and Human Services updated several of their parenting resources in recent months to incorporate “inclusive language.”
In a note from the PDF for improving outcomes of “birthing parents,” the HHS acknowledges the language update: “This document uses the terms ‘birthing parents’ and ‘pregnant and postpartum people’ to refer to anyone who gives birth, regardless of their gender identity, which may be female, male, nonbinary, or other.”
On a page updated on August 10, 2022, dedicated to information on Child Nutrition, HHS included a note on the vocabulary update. “Consider using the words ‘parent,’ ‘birthing parent,’ and ‘pregnant person’ instead of or in addition to ‘woman’ and ‘mother,’” reads the HHS guidance.
The HHS Head Start program also provides resources on breastfeeding, for which they opt to include the term “chestfeeding.” They explain, “‘Chestfeeding’ is another term that can be used as a way for transgender and nonbinary parents to describe how they feed and nurture their babies after childbirth by feeding them milk from their chest.”
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) created a language guide last year with a table titled “Suggested Terms in Breastfeeding and Human Lactation.” On the left-hand side, a column labeled “traditional terms” includes “breast milk,” while a middle column of “Gender-inclusive terms” suggests “father’s milk” as a possible alternative.
The guideline also includes words “chestfeeding,” “human milk feeding,” and “lactating person” to use in place of “traditional terms” like breastfeeding, nursing mother, and breast. The ABM published its latest position statement in August of 2021, with its intended mission to affirm their “commitment to gender equality and health equity” and provide “guidelines on infant feeding and lactation-related language and gender.”