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As PCHAS adoption specialists, we often get asked about the hospital experience for a woman who has made an adoption plan for her baby. Here are some common questions along with our honest answers.
Who will be there?
The birth mother is in charge of this decision. Birth parents can choose to have friends or family members present to support them during and after their delivery. The birth mother can also ask their PCHAS adoption specialist to support them during delivery. We’ll spend time with the birth mother after delivery to see how she’s doing and discuss how she’s feeling about her adoption plan. There’s also a possibility of having the adoptive family at the hospital, but this varies depending on the hospital policy, availability and whether or not the birth mother feels comfortable with it.
How much time will the birth mother have with her baby?
This is also up to the birth mother. Birth families can choose to have the baby in the hospital room, in the nursery or even with the adoptive family if the birth mother feels comfortable with them being present. According to Texas law, birth mothers cannot sign a relinquishment of parental rights until 48 hours after giving birth. However, it is important for them to know that they can sign the relinquishment paperwork when they feel ready to do so.
Do birth parents have to complete legal paperwork at the hospital?
Again, this is truly up to birth parents and what they’re comfortable with. Often, legal paperwork is signed at the hospital, 48 hours after birth. This allows the child to go home with their adoptive family. It is important to understand that birth parents don’t have to sign anything right then and there. They can take more time if needed.
Does the woman giving birth have to inform anyone at the hospital of their adoption plan?
PCHAS adoption specialists work closely with hospital social workers to advocate for clients making an adoption plan. The hospital social worker will likely need to be informed of an adoption plan taking place, and they will want to speak to the birth mother alone to make sure that they truly want to pursue an adoption. While this may feel uncomfortable, it’s just an additional layer of advocacy for the birth parents. Doctors and nurses will also be made aware of the adoption plan. When the baby is cleared to leave the hospital, discharge information will be reviewed with the adoptive family.
If you are pregnant and considering adoption, we’re here to help. For more information regarding Maternity Services/Voluntary Adoption, connect with a Maternity and Adoption Specialist or call 800-888-1904.