Deciding to place a baby for adoption is an incredibly difficult decision. Once you’ve made the choice to provide your child with a life full of joy and happiness through adoption, your Friends in Adoption team will work with you to create an adoption plan. This adoption plan will cover the process components of adoption and what you are comfortable with. It includes traits you’d like in an adoptive family, contact plans for your open or semi-open adoption, and your hospital stay.
Your hospital stay is vital to plan, as it eliminates the uncertainty and confusion in the excitement of giving birth. Most importantly, you need to know you are in an adoption friendly environment. In an adoption friendly hospital, you know the staff has experience with the process, will support you through every moment, and will honor your adoption plan. However, hospitals may not clearly announce their experience with adoption.
How can you spot an adoption friendly hospital? Here are some of Friends in Adoption’s tips to finding the perfect hospital to give birth.
Proximity to You
Once you go into labor, the last thing you want to worry about is traffic or a long drive to the hospital. Getting to the hospital of your choice as quickly as you can is vital to a safe and healthy delivery. In the context of an adoption friendly hospital, look for hospitals in a certain radius of you (typically up to 10-25 miles). This helps eliminate hospitals that are not realistically close enough to you for a safe delivery. Other things to consider around proximity are:
- Do you want the hospital close to your home? Your work?
- Is there limited traffic on the way? Limited or no construction or accidents?
- Can the adoptive family easily access the hospital, even if they have to fly in?
- Do you want to give birth in a city you are familiar with? (this can add a level of comfort and normalcy to your experience)
Clinical Excellence and Experience
This concerns ensuring that you are in the hands of experienced and qualified personnel when you give birth. An experienced and qualified team means that you increase the likelihood of a safe delivery. Clinical excellence applies to the hospital itself and the staff that it employs. Answer these questions with your adoption team about your list of nearby hospitals:
- Does the hospital employ board certified OB/GYN specialists? Do they partner with local certified specialists? How many?
- Is there a certified anesthesiologist dedicated to the hospital?
- Do they have special laborists, working to support you and the doctor during labor/delivery?
- Have any of the hospitals in your proximity radius won awards or acclaim for their work?
This is the most crucial part of finding an adoption friendly hospital. The staff are the people who will be beside you every step of the delivery, the ones who will be following your hospital and adoption plan, the ones who will ensure you are comfortable when you are placing your baby with their family.
The best way to gain information about this is to see it for yourself. Take a tour of some of the maternity wards in your local hospitals. Carefully watch to see if the hospital is clean, full of patients past capacity, and (more importantly) how the staff interacts with each other. Ask them how they approach adoption. Have they experienced adoption before with newborns? Have they worked with adoption and hospital plans before?
Carefully watch how they answer these questions. How do they respond? Do they seem hesitant, or answer calmly? Do they show their personal reaction, or remain professional and supportive? You want them to answer supportively, calmly, and professionally. They should serve as your advocate, not a roadblock in your process. Some hospitals even offer training on adoption behaviors and procedures. Are the staff there specially trained?
You also want to ensure that they will follow your adoption plan, specifically your hospital stay plan. This means they ensure that only the people you’ve selected are allowed in the hospital room for both your labor and delivery. They will support your decision surrounding holding the baby/spending time with the baby alone, or limiting time with them. The staff should be dedicated to following your hospital plan and that you feel comfortable.
An adoption friendly staff at the hospital means you will find yourself supported. You can also gain some insight by asking your dedicated adoption team about the local hospitals. They may have worked with some of your chosen hospitals and have advice for you.
Postpartum Care & Accommodations
After giving birth, you will remain in hospital for an average of 1 – 3 days to make sure you are recovering well. You’ll want a comforting environment to stay in, with people there to support you while you go through a difficult time. You deserve loving care and support while you recover. Consider some of these questions before you decide on a final hospital:
- Do you want to have your own room, or are you okay with sharing a postpartum room?
- Are the postpartum rooms comfortable, homelike? Do they have some privacy?
- Are the rooms separate from the labor rooms, so you have some separation?
- Do they serve food that you will eat? How is the food?
- Is there a team of nurses working in postpartum to help answer questions?
In the wake of coronavirus, safety is a top priority for all. You need to ensure that you, anyone who comes to the hospital, the baby, and the team supporting you are all safe. You shouldn’t have to worry about being healthy and protecting yourself during and after giving birth.
Ask the hospitals about their safety standards for admitted patients, visitors, and staff. They may also have special procedures during labor and delivery. Asking these questions will show you which hospitals have standards that you are comfortable with at this time.
Your Overall Comfort Level
Truly the most important component of all- are you comfortable there? Do you feel supported, at ease, and confident in the skills of the support staff there? This is what truly matters. The hospital stay and plan should be tailored to your needs. You should be able to choose who you see in the hospital and when.. If you end up feeling overwhelmed, you can trust that the hospital staff will support your decisions. Choose a hospital that supports you every step of the way, following your hospital plan and wishes.
If You Are In Need of an Adoption Friendly Hospital, FIA Can Help
There are several components to consider when you are choosing a hospital to give birth. Above all, find a hospital where you feel comfortable and supported by the staff. Your adoption team at Friends in Adoption is happy to support you in this decision, and every step of the way in making your adoption plan. We are here to help, supporting you the entire way.
Are you pregnant and considering an open adoption? Friends in Adoption is available 24/7 and provides free adoption services for birth parents. View our resources for pregnant couples and pregnant women today.