How Adoption Works
How to Create Your Adoption Hospital Birth Plan
When you put a baby up for adoption, your hospital plan determines exactly what you can expect. Not sure how to make one? Check out our sample adoption birth plan here.
Labor and childbirth can be overwhelming for most women — but especially so when you’re considering placing your child for adoption. This is perhaps the most emotional period of your adoption journey. Giving birth and then giving your consent for your child’s adoption is no small feat.
Planning ahead of time can help alleviate some of the stress and worry you’re having at this time. As your due date approaches, we encourage you to put together an adoption hospital birth plan. Many birth mothers have found it useful, and we think you will, too.
When you put a baby up for adoption, your hospital plan will address every question and “what if” along the way. We’ll get more into those details later on but, for now, consider this document your game plan for your upcoming delivery. It will help you know what to expect — and also help prepare the doctors, adoption professionals and adoptive parents involved.
Ready to start your hospital adoption plan? Keep reading to find out how:
How to Create Your Adoption Hospital Plan
We know planning your delivery can be stressful. How do you know where to start — especially if you’ve never placed a child for adoption before?
Every woman’s adoption journey will be unique, but most prospective birth mothers will follow a few basic steps while they create their adoption birthing plan.
Step 1: Talk to an Adoption Professional.
The easiest way to create a birth plan for adoption? By working with an adoption professional from the start.
Let’s be real: Adoption can be complicated. An adoption professional (like an agency or attorney) has the experience you need to feel safe and secure as you move forward. These professionals have answers to all of your questions, and they’ve worked with enough birth parents to know what an adoption birth plan template should look like.
If you haven’t yet contacted an adoption professional, reach out to any of the following for more information:
Of course, you are always welcome to create a hospital birth plan for adoption on your own — but do plenty of research to prevent overlooking important details.
Step 2: Think About Your Options for an Adoption Birth Plan.
You’ll be guided through this next step by your adoption specialist, but you get to choose every part of your labor and delivery experience. This includes all the normal details of a birthing plan but also the unique nuances of placing a child for adoption after birth.
Like you are with every other adoption decision, you will be in charge of the choices in your newborn adoption birth plan, including:
- Where you will give birth
- Whether you want a natural or medicated birth
- Who will be in the room with you
- Who will take care of your baby after delivery
- How much time you want to spend with the baby and the adoptive parents
- And more
An adoption professional will walk you through each step of the adoption birth plan template to make sure no details are omitted. Make sure to speak up about any strong desires you have; your specialist will make sure it happens.
Step 3: Be Flexible.
As much work that you can put into your adoption hospital birth plan, you’ll also need to remember that babies come on their own schedule — and in their own way. Sure, it would be ideal if your delivery experience follows your adoption birth plan perfectly, but that’s not a guarantee. To avoid stress and disappointment, remember to be flexible about your birth plan.
Unexpected developments may crop up, but your adoption professional should help you minimize those occurrences. Lean on your specialist during this time, and take a deep breath when surprises come up.
As a prospective birth mother, you also reserve the right to make changes to your hospital plan as your pregnancy progresses. Your wishes for delivery may change over time; you may decide you want the adoptive family in the room during delivery after all, or you may decide you want less time with your baby after birth. Your adoption hospital birth plan is never set in stone. You’ll always be in charge of how you want this experience to go, even if it’s differently than you originally planned.
The important thing is your and your baby’s health and safety during this time. If you ever feel overwhelmed or stressed during your delivery, remember that you can change your mind about adoption at any time. This is not a decision to rush into, so take as much time as you need (even if it’s not laid out in your birth plan). Everyone involved will understand.
Questions for Your Sample Adoption Birth Plan
When you contact an adoption professional, they will present you with a sample template for an adoption birth plan. This will address commonly asked questions by former birth parents, giving you an idea of where to start when planning your hospital stay.
Expect to see questions like:
- Do you want a natural birth?
- If not, what kind of medication do you want to receive?
- Where do you plan to deliver?
- Who will be your overseeing doctor?
- Who will be in the delivery room with you?
- If you have other children, will they be at the hospital? If not, what are your childcare plans?
- When do you want to see the adoptive parents?
- How much time do you want with your baby after birth? Do you want to care for them alone?
- Who will hold your baby first?
- Will you breastfeed your baby? Or pump breast milk for the adoptive parents?
- Do you want the adoptive parents to care for your baby until he/she is discharged?
- Do you want photos taken during labor or after your child is born?
- Do you want to give your baby any special keepsakes or gifts?
- Do you want to leave the hospital before or after your baby? Do you want to leave with or without the adoptive parents?
Not all adoption birth plan templates address every “what if” of your hospital stay. If you think of something that’s not on this document, don’t be afraid to speak up! You are your own advocate during the adoption process, and you are in charge of every single decision. Your adoption professional’s No. 1 goal is to ensure your comfort during this emotional time.
Remember: You are brave and strong. You can do this. By creating your birth plan for adoption, you are one step closer to the future you want for yourself and your unborn child.