Hospital Plan: Can I Do The Adoption From The Hospital?
At Lifetime Adoption, we sometimes get calls from the hospital. These are women in the delivery room or in their hospital room who have just given birth. They are often relieved to find out that they can still make an adoption plan from the hospital. This is true even if they’ve never spoken with us before.
Working with Lifetime Adoption, they can still choose the family and speak with them if they wish; it’s part of the open adoption hospital experience.
Our caring coordinators are available anytime, day or night by phone or text at 1-800-923-6784. They will work with nurses or health care providers and hospital case managers to get everything in place for mothers and their babies.
Never Too Late To Choose
Even though it may feel last-minute, you still can make choices for you and your baby. The biggest choices are going to be who the parents are and what future contact you want after the adoption.
There’s obviously a lot to think about leading up to, during, and after labor and delivery, including healthcare services as they relate to your insurance plans and premiums. There are also lots of questions for hospital staff about the hospital stay or how long you want to hold your baby as part of the birth plan you’ve put together with your adoption agency.
Here are the steps you can take as the birth mother when making an adoption plan from the hospital. Remember, it doesn’t matter how close you are to your due date. Whether you are about to give birth or already have, it is never too late to make an adoption plan.
1. Call or Text Lifetime at 1-800-923-6784
The first step is to connect with a Lifetime Adoption coordinator and let her know you want to learn about adoption. She will gather some basic information about you and your baby and ask what you are looking for in adoptive parents.
You will have to ask questions about adoption, and this is a good time to do that! One of the questions we hear from women is, “How fast can adoption happen?” The answer is that it can happen very quickly; you won’t have to take the baby home.
As we mentioned, even though it feels last-minute, you still have choices that include:
- Choosing parents for your baby
- The type of contact you want after adoption
- If you need help with expenses
- And much more!
2. Look at Waiting Adoptive Parents
Your coordinator will email or text you links to waiting Lifetime adoptive parents for you to consider. There are families from every state. They all are different, and share videos, photos, and more to help you learn about them.
When you are ready, you will be able to talk with them on the phone. Some women choose not to talk and would just prefer that the family arrive. Others ask their coordinator to just pick a family for them.
Whether or not you choose the parents is up to you. There is no right or wrong way to do it.
Even if you decide not to meet the parents, you can still receive updates in the future if you would like.
Sometimes women ask, “How can I be sure the adoptive parents are safe?” All Lifetime families have been through a detailed investigation called a home study. It usually takes them months to complete this study process, because they must undergo background checks, medical exams, financial evaluations, home inspections, and more, including parenting classes.
3. Complete the Paperwork
Your coordinator will send over some preliminary paperwork for you to complete or you may complete the adoption information questionnaire online.. If you prefer a paper copy, your coordinator will fax it to the nurse or hospital social worker who will deliver it to you and help you complete it, if needed.
The questionnaire consists primarily of information about you, your pregnancy, and medical releases for the hospital. The nurse or social worker will ensure it is faxed back to Lifetime.
If you complete the adoption information questionnaire online, we will get it immediately and can start helping you right away.
It is important for you to know that a Lifetime adoption from the hospital is not like foster care, even if there has been drug use or you have an open case plan. Women still can make an adoption plan of their choosing.
Remember, everything you share with us is private and confidential. Being honest with your coordinator will help her provide you and your baby with the best care possible.
4. Hospital Discharge
Usually, the baby leaves the hospital with the adoptive family. You can leave before, after, or at the same time. You will need to sign a few more papers before you leave; this gives them permission to seek medical treatment if needed and confirming that you intend to place the baby for adoption.
Even though you are leaving the hospital, the process isn’t complete. Your coordinator is still completely available to you and can provide help to you with:
- Free licensed counseling
- Peer support. She can connect you with another woman who has been where you are.
- Help with future planning
- Creating a plan for future contact with your child and the chosen family
- Referral to scholarship programs for birth parents
During this time, you can also build a relationship with the adoptive parents if you wish. You may want to schedule a time to have dinner or just get together a few days after discharge. You can talk to them directly about the type of contact you want after the adoption.
5. Signing Adoption Papers
A day or two after delivery, you will meet with an adoption attorney or social worker. They will review the adoption process and papers with you, ensuring you have a full understanding. They will explain your rights, have some more information for you to complete, and when you are confident in your decision, they will assist you in signing the adoption papers.
In some cases, this happens on one day. Other times, it may happen over the course of two separate meetings.
Again, this is all private, and the adoption attorney will meet you at a place where you have privacy.
There is no cost to you as the birth mother — ever.
If you need help with pregnancy-related expenses, the adoption attorney will arrange for that prior to signing the papers. He or she may ask you to complete a list of pregnancy related expenses to be submitted to the court with the final signed papers as well.
6. Your Life After Adoption
After the paperwork is completed, you begin moving forward in healing your body and emotions. Along with the normal “baby blues,” you may go through a variety of emotions because of the adoption. This is normal.
Your Lifetime coordinator will continue to reach out to you. Talk to her and let her know what help you need. Counseling options are always available to you, as well as peer support or simply talking about the future.
Updates you receive from the adoptive parents may feel bittersweet during these days, and if you want to see more photos, don’t be afraid to ask or have your coordinator ask for you.
With your coordinator’s help, you may want to explore plans for school or career training for yourself. Or perhaps you just need to return to be totally present for the children you may already be parenting.
Whatever you need, your Lifetime coordinator is just a call or text away.
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