Preparing To Give Birth and Place Your Baby For Adoption

Birthmother preparing to give birth

As your due date draws near and you begin to prepare for the birth of your baby, there are some things you may want to think about and consider regarding your birth plan and relinquishment.

Things to Think About Regarding Your Hospital Plan

You may wish to outline your thoughts and wishes regarding a your hospital experience in a written birth plan. Below are some things to think about and consider before your due date.

Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Who do I want to be my labor and support person during my delivery? Choose someone is supportive, has your best interests at heart, and will not be afraid to speak up so that your wishes and needs are met should the need arise.

2. Do I want the adoptive parents at the hospital? Do I want them in the delivery room with me or do I just want them in the waiting room? Some birthmothers really want the adoptive parents to be in the delivery room and want them to experience the labor process as much as possible while other birthmothers feel that it might make them uncomfortable or make things more difficult. This is totally up to you. Do what makes you most comfortable.

3. Should an emergency arise and you need an emergency c-section, who do you want to accompany you in to the operating room? Many hospitals will only allow one person in the OR, so you may want to give this some thought just in case.

4. Who do you want to be the first person to hold your baby? Do you want your baby to be placed on your chest immediately after birth or would you rather someone else hold him or her first?

5. How much time do you want to spend with your baby? Do you want him or her to room in with you or would you prefer he or she stay in the hospital nursery? In older, closed adoptions, birthmoms were not given the option of holding and spending time with their baby but nowadays most birthmothers do as they need an opportunity to say hello to their baby before they can say goodbye.

6. Do you wish to give your baby a name of your choosing or do you wish to give him or her the name the adoptive parents have chosen? You will be the baby’s legal mother until you sign relinquishment papers and the hospital will ask what name you want on your child’s original birth certificate.

7. What mementos (such as the hospital bracelets, the cards that were on the crib, and the little caps placed on your newborn’s head minutes after birth? Do you wish to keep and which ones do you wish to pass onto the adoptive family? It is your choice to keep them or pass them on.

Things to Keep in Mind
Keep in mind that as you prepare things can change in an instant. While you may have a specific birth plan outlined, things may change medically with your baby and you may need to be willing to adjust your desires as needed in an instant.

Also, remember that this will be an emotional time and as much as you may think you will feel one way, you may discover that you feel another. Be flexible and don’t be hard on yourself if things don’t go exactly as you had planned.

Things to Think about Regarding Relinquishment

Relinquishment refers to the time in which you sign relinquishment papers terminating your parental rights thus allowing the adoptive parents to adopt your child.

When and where can I relinquish?
Laws regarding when a mother can sign relinquishment papers vary by state so you should ask your adoption attorney or adoption social worker for the specific laws regarding your own state but it is something to think about so it doesn’t sneak upon you. Some states allow birthmothers to relinquish a day or two after birth before being discharged from the hospital while other states require birthmothers to wait longer and sign relinquishment papers in a courtroom.

How will I feel?
Undoubtedly, signing those papers is emotional and you are sure to feel a roller coaster of emotions. As much as you try to prepare for this moment, it’s one of those moments that is hard to prepare for but there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Be gentle on yourself as you experience these emotions. Know this is going to be an emotional time.

2. Have supportive people who love you surrounding you. While others may not be able to actually be present when you sign the papers, have them there waiting. You will need supportive people around you during this time.

3. You may wish to spend some one on one time with your baby directly before or after signing those papers so you can have some private time to say “see you later.”

4. Do not rush. Take your time and don’t sign any papers until you are certain that you wish to move forward with the adoption.

5. Do not let anyone push you into signing those papers until you are ready.