In recent decades, the nuclear family has broadened its definition to include “non-traditional” structures. Adoption, unwed parents, LGBT, and interracial couples have become increasingly common and accepted as alternative ways in which to construct a family. Motherhood, conversely, has remained stubbornly narrow in definition and ideology. The ways in which motherhood operates as presumably natural or predetermined functions to limit how a woman may perform her role as mother, should she so choose. Within the ideological framework that currently exists in visual representations, mothers may either succeed or fail at their designated maternal post, with very little room in between. This thesis examines the construction of motherhood, media, and contemporary adoption practices in order to unpack the construction or motherhood, and suggest alternatives to traditional modes of parenting and family building.