How to Create a Friendly Hospital Adoption Policy
Your hospital adoption policy should fulfill these requirements to keep the adoption process running smoothly and accommodate your patient’s needs:
- Setting the Birth Mother Up With an Adoption Agency
Some women who approach a hospital seeking adoption haven’t chosen an agency yet. However, there are also women who have already been working with the staff of an agency. Make sure you check with your patient and see if they have been connected with an agency. If they haven’t, you can connect them with Adoption Choices of Arizona. Our agency is always ready to assist birth mothers and guide them through the adoption process. If they are already associated with an agency, make sure you contact the agency and gather the information they have.
Adoption agencies provide adoption counselors that aid the adoption process. These counselors walk the birth mother through their adoption plan. They also provide her with the necessary paperwork to fill out. They can also work to inform the hospital of the birth mother’s needs.
- Create Documentation for the Adoption Plan
It is essential that your hospital keeps a record of the adoption plan that your patient has created. Staying up-to-date with the patient’s needs and wishes will prevent miscommunication. Additionally, it will guide her care at the hospital and smooth out the details related to her final stay at the hospital during birth. When appropriate, notify specific hospital staff about the details of this plan. It is crucial that all the staff members that will be communicating with the birth mother know the adoption plan.
Some birth mothers don’t want to be asked about their baby. Other birth mothers may feel overwhelmed by friendly greetings and different types of care. The decision to choose adoption is highly emotional. Familiarize your hospital staff with the adoption plan to prevent more grief or anger. Sometimes this will require a discrete form of communication. Some hospitals choose to send a message through a private system within the hospital. Other hospitals may decide to color-code or place a specific item in the birth mother’s room.
- Make Sure You Implement the Adoption Plan
The best thing you can do for the birth mother is to be accommodating. Adoption cases are complicated. Some birth mothers want to spend time with their baby after birth. Others don’t. Some mothers are ok with the adoptive parents spending time alone with the baby. Other mothers aren’t. Just remember, the baby is still the birth mother’s until she signs her consent to the adoption. This means that whatever she wants for the baby needs to happen. Birth mothers may also change their minds about certain aspects of the adoption plan. This is normal and can be caused by high emotions and stress. Accommodate her and instruct your staff to be flexible.
- Signing the Consent Documents
Perhaps the most emotional part of the adoption process is signing the consent documents. Some birth mothers decide they don’t want to pursue adoption anymore, which is difficult for the adoptive parents. However, even if a mother signs, she will likely be very emotional. There is often a period between birth and the signing to ensure the birth mother is thinking clearly. Be familiar with your state’s laws regarding the waiting period.
Additionally, make sure your birth mother’s wishes are implemented at discharge after these documents are signed. For example, some women want their baby to leave the hospital before them. Other women wish to leave after their baby or at the same time. Whatever your patient wishes, seek to accommodate their requests.
Implementing Your Friendly Hospital Adoption Policy
Every hospital should have a clear policy to guide the staff through adoption cases. If a staff member discovers that a woman is considering adoption, they should know what to do and where to look for help. Contact our adoption professionals for more information on creating a strong adoption policy.
Content Author: Kyla Helwig