As a birth mother’s due date approaches, it’s natural for anyone involved in the adoption to feel excited, nervous, and all kinds of emotions. Since there is always some uncertainty among prospective adoptive parents with various of factors out of their control, it can help to plan around the more concrete and certain aspects of the delivery/hospital plan. In any adoption, your case worker is there to talk you through and prepare for expectations and scenarios that may arise at the for the birth. This is all so that when that big day finally arrives, everyone is prepared and can focus on the joy of the moment.
Making Travel Arrangements
Some birth mothers may elect to schedule a C-section for their delivery, while others prefer to wait and only go to the hospital when experiencing contractions. In any case, there can always be unforeseen circumstances that change the birth plan, such as the baby being born prematurely. Because there is always some uncertainty with the delivery date, adoptive parents can at least plan for the location, or the hospital at which the birth mom plans to deliver. Research the different modes of transportation and routes to the hospital before the expected due date approaches. Typically, adoption professionals recommend that adoptive parents wait to book any travel arrangements until their case worker has confirmed that the birth is indeed happening, and that the birth mother is still moving forward with her adoption plan. At that time, the case worker gives the “OK” for adoptive parents to travel to the birth mother.
With that said, it is important that the adoptive parents are at the hospital as soon as possible to demonstrate their commitment and reassure the birth mother that they are always there for her and her baby.
Packing for the Hospital
There are a few essentials that adoptive parents can prepare before leaving to the hospital. For the baby: diapers, some baby clothes, a car seat, and a baby blanket should be enough to take the baby home if the travel back isn’t too long. Adoptive parents may want to bring a few items for themselves as well, such as a cell phone and charger, a camera, snacks, water, a toothbrush and other toiletries, as well as a change of comfortable clothes. In general, packing as light as possible will make the trip easier.
Sometimes, adoptive parents will bring gifts for the birth mother to show their appreciation. Some items the birth mother might appreciate include flowers, stuffed animals, a photo album, or even a simple card.
AdoptHelp takes care of documentation such as the ICPC approval, so adoptive parents don’t have to worry about the proper paperwork or documents when packing. Depending on the particular states involved and applicable laws, the consent signing and discharge may vary. Rest assured, that your case worker will prepare you for what timeline to expect based on your specific case.
Spending Time with the Birth Mother
In the hours before the birth, the birth mother might be tense or scared. Some birth mothers may want to be alone or spend time with you in the delivery room. Some birth mothers may not want to see or hold the baby, while others may want to spend some time with the baby either alone or in the room with the adoptive parents. It is important to respect her needs and wishes, even if they may change from the original hospital delivery plan. There are lots of ways to help her feel comfortable, but each woman is different and it is important to be receptive to your birth mother’s feelings and needs. Just being present is extremely encouraging and supportive, and if any of the staff are being uncooperative with the birth mother’s needs, the adoptive parent should try to advocate for the birth mother.
Unless it is an emergency case, where a birth mother is first contacting the adoption program while in labor, there is some time to mentally and emotionally prepare for the birth. Your case worker is there to go over the logistics, timeline, and expectations for both the adoptive parents and birth mother, so everyone is on the same page about how the hospital stay will go. Communicating openly with your case worker and the birth mother you are matched with will help ensure that there are no misunderstandings in the moments at the hospital. As always, if there is any confusion or issues that may arise, don’t hesitate to get in contact with your adoption professionals, as this is their area of expertise.
If you’re looking to pursue an adoption, AdoptHelp can assist. We’re here to provide the information you need to make the adoption process as seamless as possible for both adoptive parents and birth mothers. If you have any questions, call 800-637-7999 to speak to one of our case workers directly.