Open adoption allows you many choices as a birth mother, including how things are handled at the hospital when you deliver. You will have many choices in your hospital experience, including who can be in the delivery room and who can see or hold your baby.
As you get closer to your due date, you’ll work with your Adoption Coordinator to prepare for how things will go during your hospital stay. Creating an adoption hospital birth plan before you go into labor allows the hospital staff and the adoptive family to know exactly what you want your hospital stay to look like. That way, you can concentrate on giving birth and spend time with your baby in the hospital. You won’t need to make these decisions as you’re in labor.
Keep reading to learn more about making an adoption hospital plan and what to expect during this time:
Making an Adoption Hospital Plan for Delivery
If you’re concerned about how things will go down at the hospital, you’re not alone. It’s common for birth mothers to worry about this experience. That’s why we encourage you to prepare ahead of time by creating an adoption hospital plan.
Having an adoption hospital plan in place before you go into labor lets everyone (especially you!) to focus on your baby’s birth. You’re in the driver’s seat with your adoption hospital plan, and you have the right to make all the choices surrounding your baby’s birth.
What Are My Choices?
You’ll have lots of options to consider for your hospital experience. And know that you have the right to spend time with your baby in the hospital after giving birth. Just because you’re placing your baby for adoption doesn’t mean you don’t still have rights as his or her mother.
Some birth mothers decide they want their hospital stay to be a special one that only includes their birth support partner and their baby. Others wish to spend time together with their baby and the adoptive family. What your experience at the hospital is like is up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
Think about how you want your delivery to take place and what role the adoptive parents should have. To get started, try asking yourself these questions:
- Should the adoptive couple be in the delivery room, or remain in the waiting room?
- Do I want them to take part in the birth process, and if so, how?
- Will my other kid(s) come to the hospital too?
- Do I wish to be confidentially admitted to the hospital?
- Would I feel more comfortable recovering from giving birth somewhere away from the maternity ward?
- Do I want to leave the hospital before or after my baby?
- Would I like to nurse my baby?
- Do I want any pictures taken of my baby and me? Do I want pictures taken with the adoptive parents?
- Do I wish to have family members, close friends, or someone in my support system to be with me?
What Does a Typical Adoption Hospital Plan Look Like?
Some women invite the adoptive parents to experience the birth themselves as much as possible so that they can begin bonding with the baby from the start. We’ve worked for birth mothers that wished to bring the adoptive parents into the process by allowing them to be the first to hold the baby. Others have asked one of the adoptive parents to cut the umbilical cord.
Many birth mothers decide they’d like to spend as much time as they can with their baby. We’ve found that this helps with the healing process. After all, it’s hard to say goodbye to someone if you haven’t said hello first. Spending time with your baby, holding him, and talking to him can help.
Lifetime Adoption can connect you with a Peer Support mentor so you can learn firsthand what to expect. A Peer Support mentor is a birth mother who can share what her adoption hospital plan looked like and her choices. Speaking with a Peer Support mentor has helped many women. She understands what you might be going through right now since she’s been through it herself! You can learn more about our Peer Support Program here.
Why Every Birth Mother Needs an Adoption Hospital Plan
Every birth mother deserves to feel as confident and comfortable as possible as they give birth. So having a plan is very important, especially if you are creating a birth plan in adoption.
When you make an adoption hospital plan with your Adoption Coordinator, she can help prepare you for the possible emotions you might feel at the hospital and afterward. Discussing those emotions when you make your adoption hospital plan can allow you to feel more confidence and in control during your delivery experience.
Your Adoption Coordinator will begin talking with you about your hospital plan early on in your pregnancy, but you probably won’t finish it until a few weeks from your due date. That’s because your decisions might change. You’ll probably get more comfortable with the adoptive parents during your match. You might end up deciding you want them in the delivery room, when before that may have seemed awkward.
Call or text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784 for more information about the adoption hospital plan, or request more adoption information online.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 20, 2020, and has since been updated.
As the Vice President (VP) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.