When you decide to choose adoption, you’ll also have to make a number of other decisions. In truth, deciding to make an adoption plan for your child is just the beginning of a long process that involves making dozens of choices that will affect you, your child, and the Adoptive Family. Perhaps one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is about your hospital stay.
For most mothers, this is the point where adoption becomes real and truly hits home. It’s an emotional time for all, and no amount of preparedness can fully take away the flood of emotions you’re sure to have on your delivery day. Despite this, however, be prepared to setting a few things in order.
Of course, any mother has a lot to choose about the actually delivery of her child, but for mothers creating an adoption plan, the process is sure to be a little different. To help the big day run a little more smoothly, this guide will help you know what you are able to decide about your delivery and hospital stay.
At the Hospital: How Long Should You Stay?
Birth mother in a hospital bed
The amount of time you should stay in the hospital after giving birth depends on the hospital itself and the type of delivery you’ve had. If this is your first child, you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days to recover from the shock of delivery. If you’ve already had children, your body may have an easier time during labor and after delivery, and you could go home that same day or the next morning.
Your stay time also depends on the delivery itself. Vaginal birth may mean you have a shorter time in the hospital, while a C­Section may mean a longer time. This is because vaginal birth is, of course, more natural, while a C­Section is an extensive surgery that requires a lot of recovery time. Depending upon the health of your baby as well, your hospital stay time will vary.
Of course, getting in touch with the hospital beforehand should help you plan for each of these scenarios. You can do this yourself or have your attorney, adoption advisor, or social worker contact the hospital and create plan as well as learn the certain policies and procedures they have in place for adoption.
In short, you could be looking at a few hours to a few days in the hospital after giving birth depending upon your needs. If you are worried about the hospital costs, speak with your adoption specialist, social worker, or attorney about financial support from the agency or the adoptive parents. There are resources set in place for Birth Mothers before, during, and after their pregnancy.
Should the Adoptive Parents Be Present for the Birth?
Adoptive parents on the pier
While it is common for the Adoptive Parents to be present for the birth, you do get to decide who is and is not allowed in the room while the baby is being born. It is best to contact the Adoptive Parents once you go into labor so that they can make their way to the hospital and wait during delivery.
As the Birth Mother, you are able to decide how you would like the birth to go. Many expectant mothers find it helpful to think about how they want their hospital stays to go, and some even put these wishes into writing with the help of their agency or attorney. Some important decisions to consider include:
  • Who Do You Want in the Delivery Room With You?
  • Do You Want to See the Baby Immediately After Birth?
  • Will You Allow Visitors After the Birth?
  • When May the Adoptive Parents Be Allowed to Make Medical Decisions for the Baby?
  • Who Will Be Responsible for Caring for the Baby At the Hospital?
These are hard questions to answer, and it is important that you don’t get bogged down thinking there is a right or wrong answer to any of them. Adoption will be difficult no matter what you do, so it is important to do what you feel is best for yourself and your child. You also have the right to change your mind about some of the finer details about your hospital stay such as who is in the room, who is in involved, and more. Though planning is effective, you won’t know how you will actually feel until the time comes.
When Will the Baby Be Taken Home from the Hospital with the Adoptive Parents?
Adoptive father holding adoptive child in his arms
The answer to this question is usually discussed in your adoption plan. Some Birth Mothers do not want to interact with the baby after birth because of the attachment that forms between them. Others want to interact with their baby before they are placed with the Adoptive Parents. Again, there is no right or wrong answer for how you want to do this.
Typically, once the baby is healthy enough to go home, the Adoptive Parents will take them from the hospital. As the Birth Parent, you do retain parental rights for a time after the child is born, but these will soon legally transfer to the adoptive parents shortly after placement is finalized. It is usually during this time that adoption disruptions are most likely to happen, which can be difficult for everyone involved.
The hospital stay is usually the most emotional time of the adoption process for the Birth Mother, and this can make things much harder than you’d like. It is important to stay strong, stick to your adoption plan as much as you can, know your rights, and most importantly, stay as relaxed as possible.