Question: "I'm 35 weeks pregnant so I've started to make my birth plan, and I've toured the hospital I'll deliver at. After I give birth, I'm adopting out my baby. It's been a real tough decision to make, but I know it's what's best for her. Can I spend time with my baby at the hospital?"
Answer: 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.
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.
Here are nine questions you might ask yourself to get started with your
adoption hospital plan:
1. Am I cool with the adoptive family I chose being present in the delivery room? Or, should they stay in the waiting room?
2. Do I want any of my family members, close friends, or other people in my support system to be with me at the hospital?
3. Will my other child(ren) be at the hospital?
4. Would I like to spend time with my baby? If yes, do I want to spend time as just the two of us, with the adoptive couple, or both?
5. Who gets to hold my baby first?
6. Do I want to be admitted to the hospital confidentially, or recover away from the maternity ward?
7. How much time would I like to spend with the adoptive couple at the hospital?
8. Would I like to have pictures taken with my baby?
9. Should I leave the hospital before or after my baby and her adoptive family?
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.