Here’s a great question we were recently asked by a couple thinking about adoption: “Does Lifetime require that birth mothers get prenatal care before they can choose a family, or to start a match with adoptive parents?”
The answer is that a woman isn’t required to have prenatal care to make an adoption plan. But, many women who are thinking about adoption are already seeing a doctor and receiving pregnancy care by the time they call Lifetime. There are many reasons why a woman may not have (or be able to get) prenatal care, including lack of transportation, no insurance or money, fear of judgment, and even privacy concerns.
Lifetime asks for a medical release and health info from each birth mother. We will give the adoptive family she chooses all the documentation we receive regarding the health of the child they are considering adopting. Many hospitals will regularly do a toxicology screen on newborns. Most of the babies born to Lifetime birth mothers are born healthy; they’ve been cared for in utero by their loving birth mothers.
We do encourage all women to start prenatal care and can help a woman find local low cost or free medical care for her pregnancy, as well as state-provided insurance, when available. When allowed by state law, the adoptive parents she chooses for her baby may also be able to help her cover medical costs for the remainder of her pregnancy.
As Vice President of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.
Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.
As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.