You may have prepared and organized everything in advance, but when it comes to infant adoption, there are so many things that can take you by surprise. It is good to be prepared for every possible scenario, as well as to get to know what to expect at the hospital before you can finally take your baby home with you.
The day of birth is both joyful and stressful for everyone involved. Birth parents are at the same time saying hello and goodbye to their child, so the feelings are intense. Here are some tips on how to prepare for everything that may happen at the hospital!
To minimize the surprises that may come up during the hospital stay, try to communicate from the very beginning of the adoption process. Respect the birth family’s wishes and space. Also, let them know you respect their hospital plan and that you want to be clear on what they want. The birthmother is the one who creates the birth plan, and if you want to be there during the delivery, you should let her know about your wishes. When it comes to open adoption, birth mothers often let the parents witness the birth. Decide on as many details as possible, like who will hold the baby first, who will be naming the baby, and how much time she wants to spend with the baby after he or she is born.
Preparing to Travel for the Delivery
Even when you know the birthmother’s due date, it is still difficult to plan ahead since you won’t travel until she is in labor. Unless you have the flexibility to do so, don’t make travel arrangements based on the birthmother’s due date; you may end up waiting days until the baby is born. There is also a possibility that you may arrive late or miss the birth. If this happens, try not to despair, since no one can plan a birth ahead and tell the exact time of delivery. The most important thing is that you arrive at the hospital as soon as possible.
Be Prepared to Witness Mixed Feelings
Infant adoption is never easy for the birthmother, so be considerate of her feelings. Don’t bombard her with questions or keep asking if she is sure about her decision. You are there to encourage her to talk about her feelings, whether with you or a counselor. Keep in mind that until the birthmother signs the legal documents terminating her rights, the child is still legally hers, so let her spend some time with the baby if that is what she wants, and give her space.
Expect the Unexpected
It is important to set a good foundation for communication, so if anything goes unexpectedly, you can react properly. It is impossible for everything to go exactly as you want or planned, so just enter the experience with an open mind.
As much as you’d love to go home with your baby immediately after the birth, your exact time of departure will depend on the adoption laws which vary from state to state. There is often a waiting period before a birthmother can sign over her rights, and sometimes the adoptive parents must remain in the state for a period of time following that. Be sure you talk with your adoption attorney beforehand so you know exactly what to expect with regard to this.
When it comes to the hospital visit, the most important thing to keep in mind is to stay flexible. Being prepared for anything will help you get through whatever comes your way, and just keep in mind that after everything, you’ll get to bring your new baby home!