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Adam Bandt slams decision to change ‘birthing parent’ back to ‘mother’

Adam Bandt has criticized Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government for reverting the words “birth parent” to “mother” on a health care form.

The Greens leader condemned the backflip by NDIS and Public Services Secretary Bill Shorten over the weekend.

“As leaders, we have a duty to do the right thing despite the gossip about culture warriors,” Mr Bandt tweeted Friday.

“Birth parent” includes LGBTQ+ people. It doesn’t exclude anyone. I strongly encourage @billshortenmp to consult widely and reconsider this intervention.”

Adam Bandt has criticized the government for reverting the term 'birth parent' to 'mother' on a care form

Adam Bandt has criticized the government for reverting the term ‘birth parent’ to ‘mother’ on a care form

The Greens leader condemned the backflip made Thursday by NDIS and Public Services Secretary Bill Shorten

The Greens leader condemned the backflip made Thursday by NDIS and Public Services Secretary Bill Shorten

The new consent forms were introduced at three hospitals across Australia as part of a trial to upload newborn babies’ data to Medicare via digital means.

The document asked for “birth parent’s full name” in one box and “birth parent’s signature” in another, instead of “mother.”

Mr Shorten revealed Monday that he had made the decision to change the term back to “mother” in an effort to avoid an “ugly” culture war.

Sall Grover, of the Gold Coast, said she was shocked by the new consent forms handed to her shortly after the birth of her newborn baby.

Sall Grover, of the Gold Coast, said she was shocked by the new consent forms handed to her shortly after the birth of her newborn baby.

“I’m sure my instinct to defuse ugly culture wars is right,” he said Sydney Morning Herald.

“There are many people who find the word ‘mother’ special and valuable, and there are others who think their identity doesn’t belong – each has a legitimate point of view.

“We just have to get better at not having to have one view at the expense of another.”

Mr Shorten said removing the word “mother” didn’t help the “cause of diversity and tolerance.”

He argued that replacing the term with “birth parent” would cause confusion among migrant families unaware of gender-neutral, politically correct language.

Services Australia said the new forms rolled out in March and have been completed by 1,100 parents since launch.

Services Australia managing director Hank Jongen told the Daily Telegraph that the new terms had been “tested before being tried” and claimed feedback was positive.

Mr Shorten’s decision to change the titles on the forms comes after a new Gold Coast mom labeled the forms “offensive” and “alienating” to women who wanted to be called mothers.

The new consent forms have been introduced at three hospitals across Australia as a way to digitally upload new baby data to Medicare

The new consent forms have been introduced at three hospitals across Australia as a way to digitally upload new baby data to Medicare

Sall Grover said he was shocked by the new consent forms that were handed to her shortly after the birth of her newborn baby.

Bill Shorten has defended a decision to change the term

Bill Shorten has defended a decision to change the term “birth parent” back to “mother” on a health form, saying he wanted to avoid a culture war

“Women in Australia take note: on the form to put our newborn baby on our Medicare card, we are called ‘birth parent,'” Ms Grover wrote.

‘Enough is enough. This absolute bulls*** is exclusive, alienating and denigrating any woman who wants to be and be called “mother”.

“I know enough about what’s happening right now with women’s rights and the erosion of our language and spaces, so I know where it’s coming from.”

During an interview with the Today Show last Thursday, Ms. Grover said the new consent forms were simply to please fringe activists and lobbyists.

“The fact that this government form said ‘birth parent’ shocked me,” she said.

Today presenter Karl Stefanovic said he “couldn’t believe” the form had changed in the first place, describing it as “bureaucratic madness”.

Poll

Do you think the word ‘mother’ should be replaced with ‘birth parent’?

  • Yes 252 votes
  • no 2378 votes
  • Insecure 25 votes

Mrs Grover replied: ‘Motherhood is about so much more than that, it’s every other day from then on, you have your first few days of excitement, being part of that and then you see ‘give-in parent’, you diminish the role of me get her here.’

She called on those offended by the term “mother” to “seek help.”

“If the word ‘mother’ bothers you that much, I mean motherhood is going to be quite a shock. Get help, deal with it if the word “mother” bothers you,” she said.

Fellow presenter Ally Langdon said that as a mother, she herself found the term “birth parent” dehumanizing.

“I feel divided about it if I’m being very honest. As someone who does identify as a mother, I see that and it’s a little off-putting to see the biological parent,” she said.

“It’s dehumanizing to me.

“But I understand when the surrogate is and, you know, it’s not one bill for everyone.”

An emphatic Karl Stefanovic (left) said he 'couldn't believe' the shape had changed in the first place

An emphatic Karl Stefanovic (left) said he ‘couldn’t believe’ the shape had changed in the first place

Gold Coast's mother posted a photo of the new consent form on Twitter on Tuesday, describing it as

Gold Coast’s mother posted a photo of the new consent form on Twitter on Tuesday, describing it as “exclusive, alienating and derogatory”

While the new mom received an outpouring of support from Aussies, some pointed out that the word “mother” alienates other groups, such as same-sex couples, adopted parents, and surrogate mothers.

“A form that uses inclusive language is not wiping/stealing your rights or whatever other nonsense you suggest,” one said.

Why is it okay to alienate other groups to keep you happy?

“It removes ambiguity for situations involving: lesbian couples, gestational surrogacy, non-cis parents, adoptive parents and many more situations.

‘Using ‘birth parent’ makes it clear and simple which person they need the signature of.’

However, others agreed that the words “birth parent” were not on the form.

‘Scandalous. Becoming a mother was the most special time of my entire existence. It redefined everything I thought I knew about myself,” one wrote.

‘Let’s call ourselves MOTHER! Cross it out and put ‘mother’.’

“Anyone who sees this on forms should strike out the offending words and capitalize MOTHER,” agreed another.

“If there is space, write on the form that their description is offensive to women. This has come about because a small minority continues to be abusive.’

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