How Soon After Birth do Adoptive Parents Take the Baby?

If you have made a private adoption plan prior to giving birth, the adoptive parents typically take the baby home directly from the hospital. In fact, as long as you agree, and your attorney or placing agency has made the arrangements, most hospitals will allow the adopting parents to visit with the baby as soon as the baby has been medically cleared after birth. You and the adopting family will decide if you will or will not be present for those meetings.

You can also talk to your attorney or placing agency as to whether the adopting parents can be present at the birth, if you want them there.

If the hospital does not allow an adopting parent access in the nursery, the baby will be placed with them upon discharge either at the attorney’s office, placement agency or location close to the hospital. In that instance, you will discuss with your attorney or placement agency who will take the baby upon discharge from the hospital.

If you have made no adoption plans prior to birth, and are unable to make a plan prior to leaving the hospital, you can take the baby home and then contact an attorney or placing agency. You can also place your child through Safe Haven, a national program that allows you to place a physically healthy baby under 30 days of age at specific locations (like a hospital, police station or fire station), without the need to give your name or sign papers. The baby will be placed with local social services. If you do not come back for the child in a specific brief period of time, social services will arrange for an adoption. You can also ask the hospital social worker for assistance. If the hospital social worker gets involved, the child will probably be placed with local social services.

Should you not make an adoption plan until you are home with your child, you can contact an adoption attorney or adoption agency. They will provide legal and/or options counseling and assist you in finding a home for your infant or child. From the time you contact an attorney or agency to the time your child is placed with their adoptive family depends on state law.

Unless you have harmed or show intent to harm your baby or child, you can not be forced to place your baby with a family or agency. In private adoption, you can choose the family, parent or parents to raise your infant or child. You can meet them prior to placement and arrange for contact after your infant or child is placed. If your child is placed in foster care, child welfare will try to reunite you with your child, unless you indicate you want to make an adoption plan, or you are a danger to your child or the court has terminated your parental rights. In any of those instances, the social workers will find a new family for your baby or child.

The sooner you decide on parenting or making an adoption plan, the more time you will have to consider your options. That includes finding a family for your child and working out any continuing contact after you have placed your child into their new family.

Helpful links:

American Academy of Adoption Attorneys

State Foster Care and Adoption Information

National Foster Care and Adoption Directory

Safe Haven

Safe Haven referral for local counseling or adoption information

Written by Jason Granillo

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