One of the most important responsibility for Adoption Associates pregnancy counselors are to help pregnant women plan for their hospital experience.
This is a very important time and work through many questions with birth mothers prior to delivery:
- Who do you want to be in the labor and delivery room with you? Do you want the family who is adopting your baby to be in the room?
- Do you want to see and hold the baby? How much time do you think you may want to spend with the baby?
- Do you want the baby kept in your room or in a separate room with the adoptive parents if one is available?
- Would you prefer to be on a different unit from the baby?
- Do you want to name the baby?
- Do you want the baby to receive the Hepatitis B vaccine, and if it's a boy, do, do you want him circumcised?
- If the baby is ready for discharge before you, are you comfortable with the baby leaving before you? If you are ready at the same time, do you prefer to leave before or after the baby?
While asking these questions, I assure the prospective birth mother that she can change her mind at any time about these wishes. I also let her know that she is the one in charge of making decisions and that it is important for her to communicate her thoughts to everyone involved.
Once all of the questions are discussed, I prepare a hospital plan which is a letter I send to the hospital social worker letting her know my client's wishes. I also contact the adoptive parents and let them know her wishes. Again I let them know that nothing is written in stone and that some of her decisions can and often will change after she delivers.
Making an adoption plan is a very difficult decision, and the more preparation that can be done prior to the birth mother delivering, the easier it will likely be for everyone involved in the adoption process.