The hospital and delivery time while making an adoption plan can vary case by case. Thinking about your time in the hospital may bring up a variety of feelings. It is common to experience anxiety, fear, anticipation, and many other emotions. Many women can be nervous about how their labor and delivery will go. When you add adoption to that equation it can amplify the feelings of the unknown. Although you cannot plan for everything that may happen, thinking about and making a plan for your hospital time is an important step. The hospital stay is your time with your baby, and it should reflect your desires and preferences.
Making a Plan
Chances are if you are discussing your hospital stay with your social worker, you may be close to delivering your child. As this time approaches, you and your social worker will begin to have conversations about your hospital plan. This is YOUR plan, you get to decide what your time in the hospital will look like. Throughout your planning and discussions with your social worker, and potentially your doctor, it’s important to be honest about your desires and preferences. This is also a great time to ask any medical or adoption related questions that you may have about that time.
The hospital stay is your time with your baby, and it should reflect your desires and preferences.
Your social worker will work with you to write a plan that will get sent to the staff at the hospital you will be delivering at. You will answer questions pertaining to your time in labor, the rest of your hospital stay, who will participate in baby cares, if and how the adoptive family will be involved, and what your discharge day will look like for you and your baby. After your plan is written and signed, your New Life Adoptions social worker will be in communication with the hospital to make sure your preferences are understood and that they are ready for your stay. It’s important to remember that this plan is a tentative plan. You have the right to change your mind regarding this plan at any time.
Time at the Hospital
Update your social worker when you are admitted to the hospital. Once you deliver your baby, and get some rest, your social worker will visit you in the hospital. During this time, she will answer any questions you may have and help you navigate your feelings. She will also make sure you are comfortable with how things are going with your baby. In addition, she will check in with you about any visitors, the hospital staff, and the adoptive family. You may want a lot of contact with the baby and/or the adoptive family in the hospital or none at all – or anything in between. Remember that you are still the legal guardian of the child at this time. You can always change how your hospital time is going based on your changing desires.
It’s important to remember that this plan is a tentative plan. You have the right to change your mind regarding this plan at any time.
It’s normal to experience a plethora of emotions after delivery, even some that you may not have expected. Your baby is here, and your body is starting to change again. You worked really hard, and waited, throughout your pregnancy to get to this day. This time in the hospital is another opportunity to talk through why you are making an adoption plan. It is common to reexamine and reaffirm your decision. Your social worker will be there to listen and support you in your decision. It is also important to talk about what support you will have over the coming days.
Discharge and Placement
Before discharge, your social worker will walk you through the paperwork that needs to be signed. You also may have an entrustment ceremony on this day if that is something you desire. An entrustment ceremony acknowledges the transferring of the child from you to the adoptive family. It is a time to affirm the love each party has for the child. This is typically coordinated by your social worker.
You will also have an important discussion about how you plan to take care of yourself after you leave the hospital. At this point, you may have a self-care plan in place, but it is a good reminder that taking care of yourself in the following days and weeks is important. You will think about and plan how you will take care of your mind, body, and soul after you leave the hospital.
Your social worker will be there to listen and support you in your decision. It is also important to talk about what support you will have over the coming days.
Once you and the baby are ready to leave the hospital, the baby can go home with the adoptive family. If you need more time to make a decision, New Life Adoptions has licensed families to provide interim care for your child. This allows time to continue to meet with your social worker and make a plan. After discharge, your social worker will continue to check in and be available to talk through how you are feeling.
You are always welcome to discuss any of your questions or concerns throughout the adoption process with your social worker. If you have not started the adoption process yet, contact one of our Expectant Parent Social Workers to get started!