Just this past week, Lifetime has had at least two last-minute adoptions! In a last-minute adoption, the birth mother calls us from the hospital, wanting to choose adoption for her soon-to-be-born baby. Last-minute adoptions are also known as "drop in lap" adoptions. Here's a question we get asked about this process:
What happens when a mother calls from the hospital to start an adoption plan while in labor?
It’s never too late for adoption—an opportunity to adopt can happen at any time! Women who call to start an adoption plan during or after their baby’s birth still have all the same options as if they’d begun a plan during pregnancy, including the ability to choose and get to know the adoptive parents for her baby, if she wants to exercise that right.
Lifetime receives several of these situations monthly, with the majority of the calls coming in to our center via our on-call staff over the weekends, in the middle of the night, and on holidays. When these calls come in to the on-call staff, we pop out of bed and start up our computers and phones! Oftentimes there is more than one coordinator working on these middle-of-the-night cases. As a team, we network to analyze the scenario, and offer support and guidance to one another.
Many times we’re working closely with birth mother and hospital staff for several hours, gathering information to present to our adoptive families. Once we have identified the specifics of the situation; as well as, the birth mother’s preferences for the adoptive family, we start to call our families.
Lifetime will provide every single detail of the information we have gathered. We share with you the developments of the situation, providing every single detail of the information we have gathered. Once a match is made, you will be working closely with your attorney and your Lifetime coordinator to determine your next steps. Each scenario is different, and Lifetime will share our best guidance with you, based on our experience.
With a drop-in-the-lap situation, we typically know little about the birth mother. This is normal for these last-minute situations. However, we do obtain medical information from the hospital staff, and are able to present that to you. There have been times when families elect not to move forward with a drop-in-the-lap situation because it seems, “too fast,” or “too soon.” Most families who are seriously committed to adoption are ready to move forward with a good match, regardless of the timing.
In these last-minute situations, it’s important adoptive parents are legally and personally ready to say YES and GO! It's important that you're willing to travel immediately, so it's a good idea to have pre-planned flight scenarios with your closest airport.
Lifetime has found that the majority of our drop-in-the-lap situations turn out to be the smoothest, quickest adoptions of all. It’s during events like these, that Lifetime staff is privileged to witness God’s hand at work. You never know, one minute you could be enjoying a quiet dinner out, and a day later you could be holding the child of your dreams in your arms!