Adoption Hospital Plan for Adoptive Parents
Adopting a newborn is an exciting adventure. There is so much to prepare for with a new baby on the way, including the creation of an adoption hospital plan.
Of course, parents must also make sure their home nursery is fully equipped; that they have enough time away from work; and that they have completed all of the appropriate new parent readiness courses.
But a crucial aspect of the adoption process is the adoption hospital plan. This allows the adoptive parents to prepare and make arrangements for their time at the hospital.
What Is An Adoption Hospital Plan?
Some birth mothers prefer to go through labor and delivery on their own. Many more find the support of the adoptive parents eases their hearts and minds. Whether an adoptive couple spends their time at the hospital in the delivery room or the waiting room, they should be prepared, both physically and mentally.
Preparation for an adoption hospital plan begins with communication. Birth mothers and adoptive parents should know exactly what each expects from the other. The adoption agreement should outline exactly how the hospital process should proceed, but the families should personally discuss the matter as well.
Parents need to ask the birth mother what would help her to be most comfortable, and they should respect her choices. Though she is giving birth to their child, it is very emotionally and physically demanding to give birth to a child. If the birth mom prefers the adoptive parents to give her some space, they should strive to do so.
Adoptive parents should also speak with the hospital staff and caregivers. They may wish to attend a tour of the labor and delivery area, which is common for expecting parents. They should make the situation known to the hospital staff, which is certain to accommodate these special needs.
Adoptive parents should also advocate for the birth mother. They should make sure she receives all of the care she deserves before, during, and after childbirth.
Physical Preparations In The Adoption Hospital Plan
Being mentally prepared is important, but what about physical preparedness? The adoptive parents must have items ready for the baby. Among the most important are clothing and a safely installed car seat.
The parents should also prepare items for themselves. While some women labor only a short while before the baby is born, childbirth can take a very long time. Parents should pack “go bags” for themselves that include toiletries, snacks, and even a change of clothes.
Many first-time parents seek guidance in selecting baby gear, learning about diapering and feeding, preparing for the out-of-state wait, or the time period that the birth mother may have to change her mind. Classes are available locally in larger communities that can help with this.
Additional Resources and Tips for the Due Date
However, many parents are now looking for online learning resources to help them learn about birth plans and to prepare to be new parents. One program, New Parents Academy*, has created an online course for families who want to ensure they are “baby ready.” This course covers a wide variety of topics and is geared specifically for new adoptive parents. It includes a completion certificate that you can use for home study education.
Adoptive parents should remember to bring a gift for the birth mother. She will be leaving after her hospital stay without the child she has been carrying for the last nine months. It will be a lonely time for her, even though she knows she has made the right choice and honored the adoption plan.
A soft robe, a photo album, or even some nice magazines can go a long way toward helping her heart to heal. However, adoptive parents should be mindful to check with their adoption attorneys about the appropriateness of gifts. Some agreements do not allow gifts of any kind, no matter how small. If this is the case, a card with some lovely words of thanks may be in order.
After the hospital experience ends, be sure to spend time with the baby. Hold your baby and cherish the time you spend with your baby. Remember to speak with your adoption professional or a social worker if you have any questions. Finally, turn to members of your support group to help your transition into parenthood.
* This link is an affiliate link. This means if you click through and make a purchase, the nonprofit, Lifetime Adoption Foundation will get a portion of the proceeds. The Foundation supports educational scholarships for birth mothers.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
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