Labor and delivery and the hospital stay are probably the biggest causes of worry among some expectant mothers who are making adoption plans. They worry if they will have time with the baby, how they will feel, how they will be treated by the hospital staff, if they should include the adoptive parents, and many other things.
Thinking about and preparing for the hospital stay before it happens can help reduce anxiety and calm some of the fears that you may be experiencing. Think about how you would like to handle things before it occurs. Let your wishes be known to all those involved.
Questions to Ask Yourself Regarding Your Hospital Experience
- Who do you want to visit you? Who do you want to visit the baby?
- Do you want the prospective adoptive parents at the hospital? Do you want them in the actual delivery room or just in the waiting area?*
- How much time do you want to spend with your baby? Do you want to hold or feed your baby? Do you want your baby to be in the room with you?
- Will you name your baby or will you just give your baby the name the adoptive parents intend to use? You will be asked to give the baby a name. You may already have a name selected or you may know the name that the adoptive parents have chosen and give that name for the original birth certificate. Sometimes now in the more open adoptions, moms who intend to place and the adoptive families may choose a name together.+
- What mementos from the hospital do you wish to bring home with you and what do you wish to pass on to the adoptive family? Many birthmothers treasure their baby’s hospital bracelets, the cards that were on the crib, and the tiny caps placed on their heads minutes after birth. It is your choice to keep these or pass them on to the adoptive parents. Many hospitals are more than willing to accommodate adoption situations by providing 2 sets of these keepsake items if asked.
- How do you wish to leave the hospital? Many birthmoms have later commented how hard it was to leave their baby behind in the hospital and wish their baby had left first. Others may want to actually place their baby in the adoptive parent’s arms.
- When would you like to sign relinquishment papers? This is something to think about so it doesn’t sneak up on you. The laws vary in each state, so you should ask your adoption agency or attorney for more specifics.
Birth Mom Buds has a fill in the blank hospital action plan so your wishes can be in writing. Email email@example.com to request a hospital action plan form.
Some women feel they have to go out of their way to please the adoptive parents during the hospital stay. This is not true. This is a highly emotional time for you and you have to do what feels right for you.
Many adoptive parents would like to be there during the labor and delivery since this is something some of them have not experienced before and the only way they will experience it is second-hand. That being said , it is your choice, if you don’t feel comfortable you have a right to say no.
You have every right to name your baby even if you are placing him/her for adoption. Don’t let anyone tell you different. The adoptive family may not keep the name your chose or you can have that conversation with them before the birth.
Many birthmoms have reported being mistreated by hospital staff. A woman who is going to place her child for adoption should not be treated any differently than any other new mother unless she requests it. Some birthmoms have reported that nurses and doctors have treated them rudely or tried to talk them out of adoption. This is unacceptable! It is your decision to place and you should not have to justify that to hospital staff.
If you feel you are not being treated right tell someone! Tell your social worker or attorney who can then speak with the hospital administrators and advocate on your behalf. If you feel comfortable doing this yourself you are also welcome to advocate on your own behalf.