Adoption plans aren’t just made early in a woman’s pregnancy. While some women know right away that they’re not ready for the challenges of parenthood, other women might not know the right answer until they hold their child in their arms for the first time.

If this describes your situation, you’re probably wondering, “Can mothers choose adoption at the hospital?” The answer is, yes, they can. In fact, last‐minute hospital adoptions happen more often than you would expect.

If you’re considering a last‐minute hospital adoption for your baby, remember that it’s never too late to choose adoption. Adoption often isn’t a decision that you can make overnight, and it’s more than okay to consider adoption after the birth of your child.

Here’s what you need to know if you are considering giving a baby up at a hospital after childbirth:

You are in Control of Your Hospital Plan

If you’re at the hospital, you may feel like the clock is ticking on making an adoption plan. But, this isn’t the case. Women that are considering adoption at the hospital still have the freedom to choose an adoptive family, how much contact they’d like to have with their child after birth, and more. In addition to these adoption‐related services, you’re also entitled to free medical services and legal representation for your adoption.

Even if you have already given birth, your adoption specialist may ask you some important questions, such as:

  • Do you want to take pictures with the adoptive family?
  • How much time do you want to spend with your baby before the adoptive family arrives?
  • Do you want to leave at the same time as the adoptive parents?

But, before you get ready to give a baby up for adoption at the hospital, there is one important question that you should ask yourself.

Are You Sure About Adoption?

Sometimes, even when we don’t mean to, we can feel pressured into a decision that we’re not ready for. After delivery, the hospital stay will be an emotional experience, and you may be wrestling with the ideas of parenthood and adoption. Don’t ever feel rushed into a decision; take the time you need to make the best choice for you.

It’s important to understand that once you sign your legal consent to the adoption, you won’t be able to change your mind and get your baby back. If you’re struggling with both choices, an adoption specialist can help you come to the right answer.

But, if you know that you’re ready to make an adoption plan, it will be time to start learning about the hospital adoption process.

What is the Process for Giving a Baby Up for Adoption at the Hospital?

The adoption process is very similar no matter what point you’re at in your pregnancy. Here are the general steps to making an adoption plan while you’re still at the hospital or if you’re close to delivery:

Step 1: Call an Adoption Specialist

As soon as you contact an adoption agency, you’ll be connected with an adoption specialist that will guide you through a baby adoption at the hospital. While you’re at the hospital, you’ll be asked to fill out your social and medical history forms. You’ll also be asked to decide on the preferences you have for an adoptive family.

Step 2: Find an Adoptive Family

While you’re at the hospital, your adoption specialist will be able to send you a variety of adoptive family profiles based on your preferences. Some questions you’ll want to ask yourself while you’re at the hospital include:

  • Do you want the adoptive family to have children, or do you want your child to grow up as an only child?
  • Where would you like the adoptive family to live?
  • Do you want the adoptive family to have pets? How often should the adoptive family go on family vacations?

In addition to these questions, you might also think about the adoptive family’s age, race, and religion. These are all important aspects of your child’s future.

Step 3: Get to Know the Adoptive Family

As soon as you find the family that can provide the life you want for your child, your adoption specialist can connect you through a phone call. As soon as you’re ready to meet them, the adoptive family will head your way.

Once the family has arrived for your hospital adoption, you can start getting to know them in person. You can be as open in your relationship as you want to. Your adoption specialist will be there to help you get to know one another.

Step 4: Complete Your Legal Requirements

Before your child can be adopted, you’ll need to officially consent to the adoption. Once you have terminated your parental rights, you won’t be able to get your child back. Your adoption specialist and adoption attorney will make sure you understand how important this step is during your hospital adoption. They will also explain your legal rights to you before you sign this legal document.

Step 5: Post‐Adoption Contact

Because you are in charge of your adoption, you get to decide how much contact you’d like to have with your child after the adoption. You have the choice of an open, semi‐open, or closed adoption. Each option will allow you to have as much contact with your child as you feel comfortable with.

If you need it, your adoption specialist can help you mediate your post‐adoption contact agreement. They can also help you decide which post-placement contact frequency is best for you.

To start your hospital adoption, you might consider contacting one of the following adoption agencies: