Adoption FAQ for Hospital Professionals
Birth mothers need to have a simple and flexible adoption plan when placing a baby for adoption. Therefore, it’s important for birth mothers to have all the answers to aid in a successful adoption plan as quickly as possible. The knowledge, courtesy, priority, and care practiced by hospital professionals will help birth mothers successfully go through their adoption journey. Yes. You can help make it happen! Here, you will learn about answers to some questions regarding birth mothers who choose adoption.
What Hospital Professionals Should Know in Assisting Birth Mothers with Adoption
How can a birth mother know if choosing adoption is the right thing for her to do?
Many birth mothers who face unplanned pregnancies due to hardships often look to adoption as an option. Common feelings and reactions include fear, anxiety, stress, and guilt. Birth mothers will often feel grief and loss during and after the adoption process. Advise the birth mother it’s natural to feel emotional, and she has a right to choose what works for her and her baby. Adoption is a connection for a child to grow with love and care through an adoptive parent. It’s not a selfish or abusive act.
What steps can a birth mother take to begin an adoption plan from the hospital?
The birth mother can contact her nearest adoption agency to be referred to an adoption specialist within her state. If she prefers, she can call 1-800 ADOPTION and request information to learn more about her options in choosing adoption. You can refer her to a local adoption agency as well. Once she contacts her local adoption agency, she will be connected to an adoption specialist. The adoption specialist will assist the birth mother in selecting an adoption plan that will comfort her through her pregnancy and birth delivery.
Will it cost for a birth mother to be under an adoption plan or pay for other adoption services?
All adoption services are free of cost for a birth mother. Plus, she is entitled to get financial assistance with various expenses she feels she has difficulty paying. Financial support through an adoption agency covers the following expenses:
- Housing or rent
- Medical bills
- Groceries and other food costs
- Utility bills, including phone service
- Transportation costs for traveling to medical appointments, school, work, shopping stores, etc.
- Clothing for maternity and baby clothes
Is there a waiting period for the adoption process to take effect after hospital discharge?
A birth mother can get a waiting period to recover from her labor at the hospital before signing any adoption consent papers. The waiting period for the adoption depends on the birth mother’s home state. Some waiting periods can take up to a month or 12 to 72 hours after hospital discharge. She can check with her local adoption agency to arrange a waiting period that adheres to the adoption laws of her state.
Does the birth father need to be included or make decisions in the adoption plan?
The birth father can be part of the adoption plan depending on the birth mother’s consent. She can also choose to keep the birth father out of the adoption plan.
How can a birth mother find the best adoptive family for her baby?
An adoption agency will find family profiles that match a birth mother’s expectations. There is also a series of steps in the home study process. A home study usually occurs in the first stage of the adoption process. Though a home study is not required, it can help find the most suitable adoptive family for the birth mother’s baby. Next, the birth mother must find a home study provider in her state. It is important to let her know home studies vary in every state.
Home study providers visit adoptive families to conduct criminal background checks and review legal documents, such as marriage certificates and financial documents. In addition, a social worker may conduct a home visit to see if the adoptive family’s residence is a safe environment for a child.
Who Can Be Present At the Hospital With the Birth Mother?
The birth mother can decide who will be present at the hospital on her labor date. This can include the adoptive family, the birth father, or anyone else she chooses in her will. Her adoption specialist will advise her to make these arrangements in advance at a hospital.
Can a birth mother contact the adoptive family to get updates on her baby?
As part of the birth mother’s adoption plan, she chooses her level of contact with the adoptive family. There are three types of contact she can choose from:
- Open adoption is the level of contact where the birth mother can contact the adoptive family as often as possible. There are many ways she can communicate–through calls, text, messaging, chat rooms, emails, etc.
- A semi-adoption plan doesn’t have a wide range of contact options as open adoption. But the birth mother can choose to contact the adoptive family through a third party or an adoption agency.
- Closed adoption is when the birth mother can choose to keep her level of contact in a private mode. That means information between her, the adoptive family, and her baby won’t be shared.
Are there Counseling Support Services Available for Birth Mothers?
Yes. Counseling and therapy are vital to a birth mother’s support and mental health during and after adoption. She can get counseling through her adoption specialist to help her cope with trauma. In addition, all of the adoption agencies offer free counseling services. For example, Adoption Choices (X) offers a Post-Placement Adoption Services program. It is intended for birth mothers who need medical treatment and counseling during and after adoption. That includes birth mothers who suffer from postpartum depression. Birth mothers can also join support groups to share their experiences with pregnancy and adoption.
Are There Any Adoption Protection Rights?
Birth mothers are entitled to secure their adoption rights through an attorney and adoptive families. However, birth mothers must be advised that rights to an attorney vary, and it may not be guaranteed in some cases. The birth mother can contact her local adoption agency to see if she meets the criteria to request an attorney.
Can the birth mother change her adoption plan?
Adoption plans are meant to offer flexibility–with rules in place. It all depends on the time frames before and after an adoption is finalized. The birth mother can change her adoption plan before signing the adoption consent paperwork. She also can cancel her adoption plan and keep her baby before signing any adoption papers. After signing the paperwork, she will need to speak to her adoption specialist if she changes her mind. There may be a whole new process involved.
Hospital Professionals Work Together to Support Birth Mothers in Choosing Adoption
Adoption agencies would not have the best service without the efficiency and hard work of all adoption and hospital professionals. Being prompt with adoption-relation information and resources will boost birth mothers’ encouragement. Birth mothers need to be able to trust adoption and hospital professionals before they can pass through their adoption journey.
Content Author: Melissa Camacho