Arizona Adoption Process During COVID-19: What to expect and how to stress less
We don’t know if you’ve heard the news, but there’s a virus going around. In fact, experts call it a pandemic. However, we’re not only referring to COVID-19. We are talking about the worry that birth mothers are feeling during these scary times. COVID-19 has taken up space in everyone’s life and we are all learning to cope with the “invisible enemy”.
However, birth mothers are affected in a different way. Worrying about your child is normal and natural, but COVID-19 certainly adds to the anxiety. As a mother looking to place your baby for adoption, you are showing exceptional strength and should not have to experience additional stress as the result of a pandemic — but alas, here we are.
Here at Adoption Choices of Arizona we want to inform you about the Arizona Adoption Process during COVID-19 and how we can assist you and your baby during these times:
Is your adoption center in Arizona open? How do I contact your adoption agency?
Adoption Choices of Arizona is currently operating both in person and in a virtual capacity, but that does not mean that our services are limited. Our staff is still working hard to meet your needs. Once you reach out to us, we will respond and set up a meeting in the most convenient way via Skype, ZOOM, or FaceTime. At this time, we do not anticipate the process to take longer than it normally would. You can also email us or text or call us at 1-480-900-5520 to discuss your options.
What precautions are currently in place in AZ hospitals?
As of August 9th, 2020, hospitals in Arizona are taking the following precautions:
- Temperature screenings for anyone entering hospitals.
- Masks are required for everyone. Patients are welcome to use their own cloth masks, or a paper mask will be provided for patients who don’t have one.
- Enhanced cleaning in all patient areas and waiting areas.
- Separate care areas for patients with COVID-19 symptoms.
- COVID-19 testing in advance for all patients having scheduled procedures and surgeries.
- Visitors are not permitted at this time. However, patients who may be allowed an exception of one adult visitor (who will be screened upon arrival) are:
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit patients
- Labor and Delivery patients
- Emergency Department/Trauma Center patients – allowed if the patient is a minor or unable to give their medical history.
- Patients receiving end of life care.
After birth and delivery, newborns will not be taken out of rooms unless there is a complication or concern for infection. To limit the number of people coming in and out of patients’ rooms, the hospitals are also calling to collect insurance information or provide food options via telephone instead of coming into the room.
At Northside Hospital Women’s Center in Tucson, for example, the NICU’s isolettes have been spaced at least 6 feet apart. While Northwest has had no confirmed cases in its labor and delivery units, there is always concern about a mother carrying the virus with no symptoms. To combat this, they are employing the use of negative-pressure rooms to separate any potentially infected patients.
Check with your local hospital for more details on individual safety measures. After delivery however, a birth mother may be concerned about how the adoptive parents will reach them afterwards. This leads us into the next question:
Are the adoptive parents going to be able to be at the hospital for the baby’s birth?
As of the time of this post, there are no current travel restrictions within Arizona. However, parents traveling from Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or Washington DC may encounter restrictions or mandatory testing by their home state for those who are returning from a trip to Arizona. It is recommended that birth mothers keep an eye on government websites for related updates.
As far as being at the hospital for the birth, it’s going to depend on the safety measures at the hospital in which you will deliver the baby. Your adoption specialist will help find out all the specific details and make sure you are comfortable with your birth plan.
I’m stressed! What can I do in the meantime to protect myself and my baby?
Being a pregnant woman during a pandemic is nothing short of a scary experience – and your feelings are perfectly normal! Anxiety can set in quickly when we do not have control of our situation and induce unneeded stress. In fact, all of us are feeling like we are unstable right now. Firstly, know that you are not alone. There are many resources where you can find help from social media support groups to tele-health counselors. You are taking a step in the right direction if you landed on our blog! The world hasn’t stopped, we’ve just stopped moving around so much. Take advantage of those resources.
Secondly, turn off the TV and ignore your Facebook newsfeed for awhile. It’s important to stay informed, but there is a lot of sensationalism running rampant on social media and TV. Listening and reading negative news repeatedly throughout the day can increase stress and anxiety and affect your sleep. In turn, your baby feels your stress and then no one profits. Let’s face it, reading about the pandemic won’t give us any more control over what’s happening.
Next is a cliché that many of us ignore: adequate rest, nutritious foods, and plenty of water. Since the temperatures outside are scorching, opt for gentle, indoor exercises you can do like stretching or walking on the treadmill. Instead of eating from the drive thru or finishing off that last pint of Ben and Jerry’s, grab some healthy recipes online and make a grocery list. When you’re ready, opt for grocery delivery or curbside pickup and whip up a tasty, nutritious meal for you and your baby. Remember, Adoption Choices of Arizona offers financial assistance which includes food, groceries, and other personal items for your health and comfort.
We all know that the unknown is daunting. When there is no plan, we flounder and panic. Combat this fear with a written plan of action because there are a few things we humans can control in this world. Leading up to the birth of your baby, discuss an adoption birth plan with your adoption specialist. This can relieve any additional “what ifs” or concerns you may have about your pregnancy and delivery. You can discuss things like:
- Where should I go when I arrive at the hospital?
- Who is allowed in the room with me?
- What current safety measures are in place for me and my baby?
- What pain relief is available?
- Where will my baby go after delivery?
You can follow these up with adoption specific questions. Adoption Choices of Arizona is here to answer your questions throughout the whole process. We want your adoption journey to be meaningful, healthy, and we aim to provide you with accurate information, a knowledgeable caseworker, and all-around support throughout. Times may be tough, but as long as we are equipped with accurate information and practice safe habits, we can get through this together.
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Megan Nichols is a writer, artist and collector of multiple plants- most of which she has successfully killed. She lives in North Carolina with her goldendoodle, Rosie, and super-hero daughter. Megan is pursuing her MFA at Liberty University and plans to teach Art History and Creative Writing at her local community college after graduation.
When she isn’t sipping pumpkin spice coffee and madly typing away in her office, you can find her biking with her daughter or painting her next masterpiece while watching the squirrels.