What is a Hospital Adoption Plan for Expectant Parents?

ACI’s Ask a Question About Adoption

Woman looking at baby laying on her chest.

ACI is dedicated to demystifying the process of adoption for parents considering placing a child for adoption. Our blog series ACI’s Ask a Question About Adoption has resources for expectant and birth parents trying to understand what their adoption journey may look like.

Creating a Hospital Adoption Plan

What is a hospital adoption plan? There are a lot of emotions and moving parts at the time of delivery. When you are pregnant and considering placing your child for adoption, there are additional emotional and logistical parts to consider.  

Most moms stay in the hospital 24-48 hours after birth. Your hospital plan refers to what you want your hospital plan to look like. We will help you explore the various options and what you might want to consider.  Our Hospital Request worksheet helps you to write out what your ideal plan may look like and helps clarify your wishes. 

Once completed, we can help communicate your plan to the hospital social worker so the nurses and doctors know how best to support you. If possible, it’s helpful to think of these questions before you deliver to help emotionally prepare you for delivery, the hospital stay and discharge.  

Some considerations you might not have thought of before – 

  • Who would you want to accompany you through labor and delivery?
  • Do you want the baby to be placed on your chest after delivery?
  • Would you like to spend time with your baby? 
  • Would you like to get pictures of your baby? 
  • Do you want to keep any mementos or keepsakes like crib card or foot prints? 
  • Do you want to give a gift to the baby at discharge?
  • Would you like the adoptive family to be at the hospital, care for the baby in your room or without you present?
  • Will you have your family members visit you or the baby?
  • Would you prefer NO visitors?

While in the hospital, we help empower you to be your own best advocate for what you want. It’s important to remember that you can always change your mind or alter your hospital plan at any time. It’s often impossible to predict how you will feel in the moments after delivery.

Discharge

Once you and the baby have been cleared for discharge, we help coordinate everyone going home based on your plan. Many moms want to bring a going home outfit for the baby but it is not required nor do you need to provide a car seat. There are three options of where the baby can go after being discharged from the hospital.

  1. If you and the prospective adoptive family agree, the baby can go directly home with them. 
  2. The second option would be to have the baby to one of our licensed temporary care families. Temporary care provides a safe neutral space for the baby to go while you take more time to consider all your options or create your adoption plan. 
  3. Lastly, you will always have the option of taking the baby home with you.

When it’s time for you and baby to leave the hospital, some things to consider are:

  • Do you want you and the baby to be discharged at the same time?
  • Or do you want to leave the hospital before the baby?
  • Who will be taking you home?
  • Do you have after delivery care supplies at home?
  • Is where you are going calm, safe, and a space for you to heal?

Information for People with Older Children

If your child is already born or older, you can still take the time needed to create a thoughtful adoption plan. We can provide temporary care for your baby while you explore adoption. Temporary care gives you time and space away from the baby while you decide if adoption really is the best option for you and your child. If you decide to move forward with an adoption, you still have the ability to choose the prospective adoptive family and meet them prior to placing the baby in their home.

Managing Your Feelings Post-Delivery and Self-Care

You will likely feel many different emotions all at once after you deliver. Love, sadness, confusion, happiness, and much more. For many moms, after delivery is when everything becomes real. After preparing for this moment, it’s no longer just plans or thoughts, but time to take action on that plan. 

We often describe your hospital stay as being in a “hospital bubble”. There are times when it’s just you and your baby and the outside world doesn’t matter. When you leave the hospital that bubble pops and reality sets in again. 

Birth parents often express that this was the first truly difficult step in choosing adoption. After leaving the hospital, it’s so important to practice self-care, talk to your adoption counselor, and rely on those that can support you. Everyone handles grief and loss differently and it takes time to find a new normal.

Temporary Care

We never want a mom to feel rushed into a decision they are not ready to make. If you feel you need more time to think about your decision, we strongly encourage utilizing temporary care. This is a short term service that we provide so that you may have time and space to make the best choice. 

Your child will stay in one of our licensed temporary care provider homes where they will get one on one attention, love, and care. You are able to still see your child, get updates and photos during this time. 

Temporary care is not permanent and you are not terminating your parental rights. At any time you can decide to parent your child. Your child can stay in ACI’s temporary care while you consider adoption or create an adoption plan.

If you are interested in starting your adoption journey. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

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