Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now
A mother is the female parent of a child. Mothers are women who inhabit or perform the role of bearing some relation to their children, who may or may not be their biological offspring. Thus, dependent on the context, women can be considered mothers by virtue of having given birth, by raising their child(ren), supplying their ovum for fertilisation, or some combination thereof. Such conditions provide a way of delineating the concept of motherhood, or the state of being a mother. Women who meet the third and first categories usually fall under the terms 'birth mother' or 'biological mother', regardless of whether the individual in question goes on to parent their child. Accordingly, a woman who meets only the second condition may be considered an adoptive mother, and those who meet only the first or only the third a surrogacy mother.
An adoptive mother is a female who has become the child's parent through the legal process of adoption. A biological mother is the female genetic contributor to the creation of the infant, through sexual intercourse or egg donation. A biological mother may have legal obligations to a child not raised by her, such as an obligation of monetary support. A putative mother is a female whose biological relationship to a child is alleged but has not been established. A stepmother is a female who is the wife of a child's father and they may form a family unit, but who generally does not have the legal rights and responsibilities of a parent in relation to the child.
The above concepts defining the role of mother are neither exhaustive nor universal, as any definition of 'mother' may vary based on how social, cultural, and religious roles are defined. The parallel conditions and terms for males: those who are (typically biologically) fathers do not, by definition, take up the role of fatherhood. Motherhood and fatherhood are not limited to those who are or have parented. Women who are pregnant may be referred to as expectant mothers or mothers-to-be, though such applications tend to be less readily applied to (biological) fathers or adoptive parents. The process of becoming a mother has been referred to as "matrescence".The adjective "maternal" refers to a mother and comparatively to "paternal" for a father. The verb "to mother" means to procreate or to sire a child from which also derives the noun "mothering". Related terms of endearment are mom (mama, mommy), mum, mumsy, mamacita (ma, mam) and mammy. A female role model that children can look up to is sometimes referred to as a mother-figure.

View More On
  1. B

    NSW Am I a bad person if I refuse my mother live in my house? Elder Abuse?

    I am 37 years old and mum of two. My mum is 61 years old. She is single. She doesn’t have any income, so she lives with me and my husband. But she wants to control everything. Every time we went holiday, we have to take her with us, because she said she is afraid to live at home by herself. And...
  2. A

    WA Father sends son Letter of administration 10 years after mother has deceased

    My father has hired a lawyer & sent me a consent notice to sign so he can become the administer of my Mothers estate. My mother died 10 years ago & I'm pretty sure she had a will. It states they have enclosed a copy of the will but nothing was there. I rang the lawyer & enquired she said to...
  3. S

    serious abusive by Father - mother and infant still being tortured by his behaviors but court doesnt care

    This is before the courts - female child under 4 the day after her second weekend including overnight with her father, disclosed in her innocents sexually inappropriate behaviors and named her father - there was also contact before and after abuse reported to child protection where father was...
  4. B

    VIC My mother has dementia and I wanted to know if I can still organise an Enduring Power of Attorney , does her Doctor need to help me out on this ?

    My mother has dementia and I wanted to know if I can still organise an Enduring Power of Attorney , does her Doctor need to help me out on this ?
  5. J

    Tenants in Common in Equal Shares to buy out share - Mother & Daughter Dispute

    I am a tenant-in-common in equal shares of property in Sydney with my daughter. The property was purchased in March 2005 and is presently unencumbered. The purchase price was over $700K. My daughter left the property in May 2005. My daughter’s ex-boyfriend was the mortgage broker and insisted on...
  6. H

    VIC Mother threatening to take baby away from father

    My brother's partner is currently 28 weeks pregnant with his baby and it is quite apparent she is suffering from some form of mental health issue. For months she has been mentally, emotionally and financially abusing my brother. She has threatened my brother that she would terminate her...
  7. V

    VIC Child care agreement breach by mother having the custody

    Hello, Legal experts out there. I humbly request guidance in the case of one parent getting rigid to change the child care agreement according to her way in Victoria. Please help as it is causing unnecessary stress. As per the family court agreement settled two years ago and being followed...
  8. C

    Step Parents

    Hi, wondering if anyone can help locate cases where a step-parent has been awarded ‘parental responsibility’ of a child in a 3 way court case? I am having trouble locating under what grounds this can occur, having regard for that person being a person concerned with the care and welfare of a...
  9. A

    QLD Mother intend to hide child's heath information

    Hi, My stepson's mother would not forward the covid test result to us. She told us that kid showed symptoms yesterday and they went test the result is negtive. I don't believe the result came out that quick. She refused to offer any information about where they did test or which clinical and...
  10. L

    SA Tricky Mother has had Daughter Assessed for Autism

    Thank you for answering my questions. This is a tricky situation, the mother of the child (daughter) has paid for a autism assessment in which she has lied and stated the father has no contact or involvement with the child. The mother has signed a legal contract stating this to the...