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Looking for Adoptions Together or FamilyWorks Together? New name, same us. Here’s why!

Parent-Focused Best Practices for Hospital Staff

Adoption planning is complex and emotional for parents. Using this guide, hospital professionals can help parents make safe adoption plans. Additionally, our team offers free trainings for hospital teams to help guide adoption planning.

Contact Us to Learn More!

young mother after going through the steps of the adoption process

A Resource Guide for Healthcare Teams

How You Can Help:

  • After delivery is when parents are most vulnerable, and it is normal for them to have strong grief reactions even if they feel that adoption is the best choice available to them. Let the parents know that you understand they are going through a hard time and that you will do whatever you can to make this process easier.
  • During the mother’s time in the hospital, she may spend as much time with the baby as she wishes (understanding that this decision may change, and that is okay). If possible, offer her a room separate from the postpartum floor.
  • Privacy and confidentiality are very important during the adoption process. Because the subject of adoption can bring up strong feelings for many people, discretion is crucial while the mother is considering what decision will be best for her and her child.

 

What Happens Next:

  • The baby will be discharged to the adoptive family (if parents have already chosen an adoptive family during pregnancy) or to an interim care provider licensed by the adoption agency to provide short-term foster care until parents have chosen an adoptive family or chosen to parent.
  • Parents receive ongoing all-options counseling and grief support. After signing consent to adoption paperwork, birth parents have between 7-30 days to stop the adoption process, depending on what state laws they decide to follow (between DC, MD, and VA). Long-term case management and referrals are provided.

 

Supporting Parents Considering an Adoption Plan:

  • Respect the Decision of a Parent: When we respect the decision of a parent to plan for an adoption, we affirm that the parent understands what is best for their family and child.
  • Understand Parental Rights: Parents have the right to free counseling, independent legal advice, the right to choose an adoptive family, semi-open, open or closed adoption, and more.
  • Practice Adoption Competency: Included in this guide are some ways that hospitals can work intentionally with parents considering adoption. Training staff to meet these standards helps parents during planning.
  • Hospital Decisions: During their stay, birth parents may choose to:
    • Room-in with the baby (or not).
    • Feed the baby (bottle-fed is more common).
    • Name the baby.
    • Determine if/when the adoptive family visits.
    • Take home discharge mementos (hat, footprints, blanket, crib card, etc).
    • Decide to parent.

 

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