Giving birth is an emotionally and physically challenging process. So when you add adoption into the mix, things can become even more overwhelming. That’s why we encourage you to create an adoption hospital plan in advance. Keep reading to learn all about how you can make one that works for you!
What is an Adoption Hospital Plan?
It's common for women choosing adoption to worry about how things will go down at the hospital. The more you can prepare and plan ahead, the more confident you will feel. That's why at Lifetime we encourage you to create what's called an "adoption hospital plan."
Your adoption hospital plan will allow the adoptive family, the hospital staff, and Lifetime to know exactly how you want the hospital visit to be handled. Having your plan in place before you go into labor allows everyone (especially you!) to concentrate on the birth of your baby. Like your adoption plan, you're also in the driver's seat with your adoption hospital plan. You have many choices to consider.
What Choices Do I Have?
You have the right to spend as much time as you wish with your baby in the hospital after you give birth. You'll have lots of options for your adoption hospital experience.
For example, if you want your hospital stay to be a special one that includes just you and your baby, that can be arranged. Or, you might like to spend time together with your baby and the adoptive family. It’s up to you and what you feel comfortable with.
A big part of making an adoption hospital plan includes how you want the delivery to take place and what role, if any, you want the adoptive parents to have. To get started, you might ask yourself a few questions, like:
- Am I OK with the adoptive family I chose being present in the delivery room? Or, should they stay in the waiting room?
- Do I want the adoptive family to take part in the birth process, and if so, how?
- Do I want to be admitted to the hospital confidentially, or recover away from the maternity ward?
- Will my other child(ren) be at the hospital?
- Do I want any of my family members, close friends, or other people in my support system to be with me at the hospital?
What Does a Typical Adoption Hospital Plan Look Like?
Some birth mothers want the adoptive parents to experience the birth themselves as much as they can, and bring them into the process. For example, they might ask one of the adoptive parents to cut the umbilical cord, be the first to hold the baby and start the bonding process right after their baby is born.
Others decide they'd like to spend as much time as possible with their baby so that they can say goodbye. This can help with the healing process because it's hard to say goodbye to someone if you haven't first said hello. Spending time with your baby, holding her, and talking to her can help.
Lifetime can connect you with a Peer Support Counselor, a birth mother who can give you the support you need as you make an adoption hospital plan. She can share what her adoption hospital plan looked like, the choices she made, and how it all turned out. It can really help to speak with a Peer Support Counselor, since she understands what you might be going through right now! Visit LifetimeAdoption.com to get connected with a Peer Support Counselor.
Your Adoption Coordinator is Here to Help You
At the end of the day, the choice is yours. We encourage you to talk with your Adoption Coordinator at Lifetime to create a hospital plan that works for you and that you're truly comfortable with. She will help you work out the details beforehand so that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
Your Adoption Coordinator will start talking with you about your hospital plan early on in your adoption process. But you probably won't have finished your hospital plan until a few weeks from your due date. That's because your preferences could change. For example, you'll probably get more comfortable with the adoptive family during your match. So, you might decide that you do actually want them in the delivery room with you, when before that may have seemed awkward.
The short book So I Was Thinking About Adoption has a helpful section all about creating your adoption hospital plan. Download your free digital copy here:
This article was originally published on December 8, 2017, and has since been updated.