As an adoption attorney and a birth mother myself, I know that giving a baby up for adoption comes with a wide range of emotions. This is true before and after delivery. After your child is born, you will have to make your final decision about who will care for your child. Preparing for your child’s birth will help you make a plan and feel confident in your choices.
Choices about your baby
When you’re pregnant, you’re focused on staying healthy and preparing for your child’s birth. What happens when that day comes? Before your child is born, you’ll need to decide who you want in the room at the birth. Do you want to hold the baby? Think about whether you’d like to hold your child right after the birth or whether you’d like the adoptive family to be the first.
Moving the adoption forward
After you give birth, you’ll have time to make your final choice about the adoption. You’ll sign the termination of parental rights after you are discharged from the hospital. This helps move the adoption process along and opens the way for the adoptive parents to adopt your child.
Don’t sign any paperwork until you’re certain about the adoption. For some women, giving a baby up for adoption isn’t the best option. Some will need to take their baby home as they continue to think about what’s best for them.
Taking care of yourself
You’ll also want to think about self-care after the birth. Do you have someone who can help take care of you physically and emotionally? Right after the birth, you will feel many emotions, from awe to sadness. It is helpful to have a friend or supportive family member who can stay with you and listen to you. Ideally this will be someone who supports you in giving a baby up for adoption.
You will need some time to physically recover, especially if you have a cesarean section. Think about who can advocate for your physical and emotional needs and plan what you will bring and who you will ask to be with you at the hospital. Find out if the adoptive parents can help with your living expenses during this time if you are unable to to work.
All of these choices can seem overwhelming, especially if you have to decide what to do on the spot. However, when you’re choosing adoption you can also make an adoption plan and a birth plan. These plans help you think about all of your choices, from what will happen during the birth to who will support you after the birth. Your adoption plan outlines how you’d like to proceed with the adoption and will include information about the type of adoption you are pursuing and what kind of contact you would like to have with your child in the future.
Your birth plan is for the day of the birth, and it outlines your desires for specific medical procedures and gives information about what you’d like to happen during and right after the birth. Having a plan can give you a greater sense of security because it helps you think through the choices that you’ll need to make.