Yes, couples can still adopt. The process may be very different because of closures and social distancing, but it is still possible. At Lifetime, we are 100% functional during this time, available for both adopting couples and birth parents. Many home study providers are modifying procedures, such as conducting visits via video conferencing rather than a home interview. Courts are still functional, though some hearings may take place via phone or in other locations.
Is it difficult to adopt during the Coronavirus?
Families adopting during this time may have to adjust their plans and expectations. For instance, hospitals may limit the number of visitors or restrict visitors all together. Travel by plane is far more limited so driving may be required. Some states are requiring a quarantine period for incoming travelers from certain states. This doesn’t mean adoption is impossible, it just means you need to have open communication with your adoption professional each step of the way.
For families wanting to get started on an adoption, now is a good time. Many of us have more time at home, so completing the paperwork, adoption profile, and online education is easier. Scheduling phone consultations may be much easier if your availability has increased, and if you need to learn about open adoption, now is a great time!
What do I do if my child’s birth mother goes into labor during the Coronavirus and I have to travel? Can I travel to pick up my baby in another state during the Coronavirus?
Traveling for medical reasons is allowed, and if your child is being born, you can travel. You need to plan on driving, both for your safety and the safety of your child. Plan and bring masks for everyone. It is strongly recommended to leave other family members and/or children at home. We will guide you through the process, as each state is very different, and things are changing daily.
What are the chances that my baby I’m adopting will get Coronavirus while in the hospital?
Medical staff will do everything they can to ensure your baby is safe. With that being said, Coronavirus is primarily an airborne virus and can’t really be seen in the air. The chances someone will get it are directly related to the surrounding area among other things. Take recommended precautions and speak openly with hospital personnel about the safety measures they have in place. Most hospitals are discharging mothers and babies as quickly as they can to limit any possible exposure in the hospital.
Can a birth mom transfer Coronavirus to unborn baby in utero?
While much is being discovered everyday about the transmission of COVID-19 between people, there is much more to learn. Experts at this point have not made a definitive statement about whether or not it can be transferred in utero, however all precautions are being taken during delivery. For up-to-date information, visit the CDC Pregnancy and Breastfeeding page online.
Should we take masks with us to the hospital when we pick up our baby with coronavirus going on around us?
Yes, absolutely! Homemade cloth masks protect you and others. There are many patterns online, even some that don’t require sewing. Additionally, many local groups are sewing and distributing free of charge. Reach out to your friends and family. Stock up before you travel.
Will we be allowed to go to the hospital for the birth or to pick the baby up with the Coronavirus outbreak?
Hospitals are modifying their policies at this time, and each will be different. Some are allowing one visitor who must stay the entire time. Others are allowing no visitors at all. We help in discovering what the current policy is and convey that to you. It is important during this pandemic that you respect the policy and understand that the front line healthcare workers are doing all they can to try to keep everyone in the facility safe and Coronavirus free. Some hospitals are discharging early to get healthy mothers’ home quickly. Stay flexible and know that this is a unique time and your expectations may need to be adjusted to the situation.
Will we need to stay in the birth mothers state for 14 days when we pick up our baby because of the Coronavirus before returning home?
You will need to stay in the birth mothers state until the ICPC (Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) is complete. It is very important that you not return to your state until your attorney gives you permission – it could jeopardize your adoption. In regard to any quarantines between states, that is changing constantly. We will advise you at the time with the most up to date information we can get.
Will we have any problems crossing state lines to go from our state to the mother’s state? Do we need an authorization letter to travel between states for our adoption and who do we get that from?
With things changing every day, we do not currently anticipate any difficulties in crossing state lines. Should you need a letter of authorization, Lifetime will be happy to provide that to you. Again, remembering to stay flexible is key.
If the airlines close down, can I travel by car across state line to pick up our child in adoption?
Yes. In fact, at this time Lifetime is recommending traveling by car to ensure the health and safety of you and your child. We understand this may take more time but it is important to social distance to prevent the acquisition of Coronavirus. Ensure you are prepared with baby sized masks or car seat covers that will assist with that.
How does ICPC change with adoption between states and with the coronavirus?
Changes to ICPC offices and schedules will vary by state. Most all are working remotely and you may experience some delays, however the good news is that they are continuing to work and process adoptions. Your attorney can advise more specifically what to expect when your ICPC packet is filed.
How long will I need to stay in the birth mothers state after picking the baby up from the hospital?
Flexibility is the key! Without an influence of a pandemic, the normal time is 10-14 days. Now, it may be a bit longer, especially if any state-enforced quarantines are in place. You don’t need to stay near the hospital, in fact it is recommended that you don’t, leaving those lodging resources for first-responders. Finding an extended stay hotel or Airbnb is preferred, so you can minimize Coronavirus exposure by declining daily housekeeping and cooking your own food. Pack masks for everyone and as much as you can in your car, knowing that you likely will be out of state for at least two weeks. If you have an RV or travel trailer, you may want to consider bringing it for your lodging.
Is it safe to go into the hospital with the Coronavirus to pick up our baby?
If allowed, yes, it is safe provided you take precautions, including a mask and gloves. Travel prepared, not knowing what you may experience. Also, don’t expect the hospital to provide anything, especially at this time. Staff and resources are stretched thin, so it is important to be gracious for anything provided, but to be prepared for yours and baby’s immediate needs.
Our birth mother is due in three weeks do you think it’ll be safe to travel across state lines to see her and pick up our baby and bring him home? What are the steps I need to know?
You still need to plan to stay in the birth mother’s state until you have ICPC clearance to return home. Stay updated on the Coronavirus news in her state, as well as your own. Speak with your attorney about how ICPC is currently being processed and what the expectation is. Talk to your coordinator about the current hospital policy. Plan your travel and lodging, knowing that you will have to stay out of state, likely at least two weeks. And keep in mind that even though her due date may be in three weeks, babies are considered full term at 38 weeks, which is just one week away. So, don’t put off planning, get ready today!
Birth Parent Questions
I’m pregnant and due to give birth in two weeks what do I need to know about the coronavirus and being at the hospital?
The goal of many hospitals is to limit any time that well people need to be in their facility. This is especially true for mothers and babies. During this time, we are seeing earlier discharges after birth when mother and baby are doing well. It is important that you continue to wash your hands and not touch your face, especially when in the hospital, as much as possible. The people who care for you will likely be completely masked and gloved at all times, for both your protection and their own. They may ask you to wear a mask too. Please comply with all hospital policies for your own safety and that of your baby.
What can I expect at the hospital?
Hospitals are modifying and constantly changing their policies during this time. Each one will be different, and what they told you one week may change when you arrive to deliver. Some are allowing one person with you during the birth who must stay the entire time or if they leave, are not allowed to re-enter. Other hospitals are allowing no one at all. We will help you in learning what the current policy is. It is very important during this time that you respect the policy. Healthcare workers are struggling to do all they can to keep everyone safe and free from Coronavirus. You may be discharged more quickly than normal. This is one way hospitals are trying to protect mothers by getting them out of the hospital and back home as soon as possible. To speak with an adoption coordinator about this, please call or text Lifetime Adoption now.
Things are changing so fast. Will the hospital have room for me to give birth?
Yes, even in hard hit inner cities, plans are made for non-COVID-19 health needs, such as delivering a baby. You may be delivering at an alternative hospital than you had planned, but this is as city leaders and others try to protect people without the virus. We can help you learn about the plans and options in your town.
Will I be able to have someone in the room with me when I give birth with the Coronavirus going on?
Current hospital policy will determine if someone can be with you during delivery. Different hospitals have different rules at this time. The rules may also change day to day, depending on the severity of the outbreak in your town. It may seem scary if you cannot have anyone with you but know that hospital staff will take good care of you. These limitations are for your safety and that of your baby too.
Can my baby get Coronavirus from the hospital nursery after giving birth?
Hospitals are taking every precaution to prevent the virus spreading. They may recommend keeping the baby with you as opposed to the nursery at this time. Talk to your coordinator about your fears and she can get information from your hospital to learn more about what specifically they are doing to prevent the spread in the nursery.
I would like to have the adoptive mom in the room with me when I give birth and cut the cord is that possible with the Coronavirus? Will the hospital allow someone to be with me when I give birth and for the adoption?
Hospital policy is changing day-by-day as this outbreak grows. In small towns that have few or no cases, it may be allowed. In large cities that are fighting this daily, it may not be. Your coordinator can help you determine what is currently allowed and how best your wishes can be honored. Hospitals may allow others to “be present” via cell phone and video conferencing. Staying flexible during this time is important in order to stay safe.
I’m scared to give birth now. How safe is a hospital for giving birth and contracting the Coronavirus? What are my chances of getting the Coronavirus in the hospital when I go to give birth?
The hospital will take every precaution they can to keep you safe and free from contracting the Coronavirus. It is important that when you are there, you continue the recommended hygiene procedures, such as hand-washing and wearing a mask if asked to. You may be sent to a different hospital to deliver if your community has designated a hospital for other needs, free from active Coronavirus cases. This is one reason hospitals are limiting visitors, so that the virus is not brought in unknowingly if possible, to keep it a free zone. Medical professionals are doing all they can to keep all patients safe, especially you and your baby.
How long will I be in the hospital after I give birth because of the Coronavirus?
We are hearing that many hospitals are discharging early to try to limit your time in the hospital, so you can return home quickly. We’ve recently worked with women who felt well-enough to discharge within 24 hours of a regular delivery, and just 48 hours after a Caesarian section. Your doctor will make that determination based on your health and safety.
I’ve had a fever and a cough, and I don’t know if I have the Coronavirus, will that be a problem with giving birth? I’m scared.
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms right away. You can call and do a video chat even. If you have symptoms, testing will be scheduled right away and is available nationwide at no cost to you. If you do have Coronavirus, it does not mean it will be passed on to your baby. You can start any treatments right away to ensure you get the best care possible throughout your pregnancy. Don’t wait, call your doctor right away.
How can I meet the adoptive parents while shelter at home is in effect?
These times call for us to get creative! Besides talking on the phone, you can talk via video chat on the phone or something like Zoom. These are free and widely available. You can text and email too. This actually gives you more time to get to know them, because no travel has to be arranged – you can plan video chats anytime and perhaps even talk more frequently! If you haven’t yet chosen a family, you can see waiting adoptive families now.
I’m terrified of getting the Coronavirus while I’m pregnant what should I do?
Take the recommended precautions, such as avoiding people who are sick, cleaning your hands often with soap and water (or alcohol-based hand sanitizer), wearing a mask when out in public, and covering your cough with a tissue that you then throw away. Be sure you are limiting your exposure to others. Try to see if you have a friend or family member who can get your groceries and medication. Taking all the recommended CDC precautions is important.
I’ve got Coronavirus, can I still put my unborn baby up for adoption?
Yes, you can. There are families available for every baby, and Coronavirus is no exception. Medical staff and hospital personnel may take extra precautions since you are infected, however according to the CDC this does not mean that your baby will contract COVID-19. Even if he or she does, an adoption can still move forward. It is important to follow all of the recommendations from your doctor during this time, for both your well-being and that of your baby. If you haven’t spoken with an adoption coordinator yet, please call or text Lifetime Adoption now.
I tested positive for Coronavirus; will I be able to hold my baby after I give birth?
Your doctor will make that evaluation at the time of your delivery. It is possible that the virus will have left your system by that time. If you are experiencing symptoms, the hospital personnel will do everything they can to protect both you and your baby.