Happy adoptive parents Jennifer and Alan with their baby at the hospitalJust this past week, Lifetime has had at least two last-minute adoptions! In a last-minute adoption, the birth mother calls us from the hospital, wanting to choose adoption for her soon-to-be-born baby. Last-minute adoptions are also known as “drop in lap” adoptions. Here’s a question we get asked about this process:

What happens when a mother calls from the hospital to start an adoption plan while in labor?

It’s never too late for adoption—an opportunity to adopt can happen at any time! Women who call to start an adoption plan during or after their baby’s birth still have all the same options as if they’d begun a plan during pregnancy, including the ability to choose and get to know the adoptive parents for her baby, if she wants to exercise that right.

Lifetime receives several of these situations monthly, with the majority of the calls coming in to our center via our on-call staff over the weekends, in the middle of the night, and on holidays. When these calls come in to the on-call staff, we pop out of bed and start up our computers and phones! Oftentimes there is more than one coordinator working on these middle-of-the-night cases. As a team, we network to analyze the scenario, and offer support and guidance to one another.
Many times we’re working closely with birth mother and hospital staff for several hours, gathering information to present to our adoptive families.  Once we have identified the specifics of the situation; as well as, the birth mother’s preferences for the adoptive family, we start to call our families.
Lifetime will provide every single detail of the information we have gathered. We share with you the developments of the situation, providing every single detail of the information we have gathered.  Once a match is made, you will be working closely with your attorney and your Lifetime coordinator to determine your next steps. Each scenario is different, and Lifetime will share our best guidance with you, based on our experience.
With a drop-in-the-lap situation, we typically know little about the birth mother. This is normal for these last-minute situations. However, we do obtain medical information from the hospital staff, and are able to present that to you. There have been times when families elect not to move forward with a drop-in-the-lap situation because it seems, “too fast,” or “too soon.” Most families who are seriously committed to adoption are ready to move forward with a good match, regardless of the timing.

In these last-minute situations, it’s important adoptive parents are legally and personally ready to say YES and GO! It’s important that you’re willing to travel immediately, so it’s a good idea to have pre-planned flight scenarios with your closest airport.
Lifetime has found that the majority of our drop-in-the-lap situations turn out to be the smoothest, quickest adoptions of all. It’s during events like these, that Lifetime staff is privileged to witness God’s hand at work. You never know, one minute you could be enjoying a quiet dinner out, and a day later you could be holding the child of your dreams in your arms!

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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