Question: “I’m giving my baby up for adoption and I’m due any day now, so I’m trying to plan everything ahead of time. It’s making me really nervous. How much contact should I have with my baby after I deliver?”
Answer: The truth is, no one can tell you what’s right for you. Some birth moms want to hold their baby and look at him or her. Others feel that it’d be too hard, and choose not to have any contact at all. If you’re giving your baby up for adoption, we’d like to share some tips with you today about how to decide!
It’s common to be worried about your hospital stay and delivery when you’re making an adoption plan. You might be anxious about how you’ll feel, and if you should include the adoptive parents you’ve chosen. It’s great that you’re thinking about your hospital stay before it happens! This way, you can calm some of your fears and cut down on anxiety. Here are 4 tips to help you make this important decision when giving your baby up for adoption:
Say Hello Before You Can Say Goodbye
If you’re giving your baby up for adoption, it’s up to you whether or not you will see or spend time with him or her after delivery. You can feed him or her, sing to them, change them, or rock them. Do whatever you feel comfortable doing. Many birth moms have told us they regret that they didn’t spend time with their baby after delivery. With that said, some women know right away that they don’t want to see and hold their baby. They say that having contact with their baby will make saying goodbye harder.
The choice is yours! We recommend that you follow your heart; it will tell you what’s best for you.
Creating a Hospital Plan
Think about your hospital stay and how you’d like to handle things. In your adoption hospital plan, you’ll name how you want the delivery to happen and what role you want the adoptive couple to have. You can use the questions we list below to get started with your plan.
We recommend that you get your adoption hospital plan down in writing. Then, Lifetime will help make sure your wishes are known to everyone!
Ask Yourself These Questions
- Do you want the adoptive couple at the hospital? If yes, should they be in the actual delivery room or just in the waiting area?
- Would you like to name your baby, or just give your baby the name the adoptive couple plans to use?
- Are there any keepsakes from your hospital stay that you’d like to bring home? Which would you like to give to the adoptive family? (for example, your baby’s hospital bracelets or the tiny caps the hospital provides.)
- Would you like to leave the hospital first, or have your baby and the adoptive couple leave first?
Talk to Another Birth Mother
It can be so helpful to talk to another birth mother, one who’s been in your shoes and made an adoption plan. By hearing from another woman who went through the adoption hospital experience, you can get a preview of what it might be like.
You can hear what the adoption experience is like by clicking on the image below. If you’re giving your baby up for adoption, you can also choose to speak with one of Lifetime’s Peer Counselors. They are birth mothers who made an adoption plan for their baby through Lifetime. Please let us know if you’d like peer counseling, by calling Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is nationally recognized as an expert on open adoption. A Certiﬁed Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P.), Caldwell is the founder of Lifetime Adoption Center, established in 1986. She has assisted in over 2,000 successful adoptions and was one of the ﬁrst adoption professionals on the Internet.
Caldwell’s life work is dedicated to educating and helping birth parents find the right adoptive parents for their child. She spreads the word about modern adoption through speaking appearances, webinars, online resources, and as a podcast show host.
She has written several award-winning books, including So I Was Thinking About Adoption, the first book of its kind. There are many reasons women choose adoption, and this short book is a comprehensive resource to make the best plan for you and your baby. Caldwell wrote So I Was Thinking About Adoption as a handy guide to the details of the adoption process.
Caldwell has made over 150 media appearances, including ABC News, CBS News, Larry King Live, CNN Headline News, NBC’s The Today Show, CNN’s The Campbell Brown Show, NBC News, KGO Newstalk Radio, CNN’s Black in America II, MSNBC, Fox, PBS, BBC, and Dr. Laura.