Who is going to be there with you?
Some birth parents want to be alone before, during, and after delivery, especially if very few people (or no one) know about their pregnancy. Most find it helpful to have at least one truly supportive friend with them. If you do not have that one person, ask your pregnancy social worker about our doula program. On the other hand, some birth parents we’ve worked with have had many people in the room. No matter how many people want to be there, you are the person who decides what happens.
How much contact will you have with your baby afterward?
This is your decision. Some birth parents decide not to see their baby after delivery because they are trying to protect their hearts; they know themselves and feel certain that if they do see their baby, it will be much more difficult to place their baby for adoption. Other birth parents spend every minute with their child after delivery and spending this time with their child brings them peace. Many find the in-between option right for them: the baby may room in the nursery and the parent(s) visit the baby as frequently as they wish.
Will you name your baby?
The baby will automatically have your last name in the hospital, and you are welcome to choose the legal first name for your child. If the name you choose has deep meaning to you, tell your social worker so she can communicate that with the adoptive family. The adoptive family may choose to keep the birth name (or make it a middle name) but the last names always change. If you do not want to name your baby, your social worker or nurse can choose a temporary name.
You are the decision maker.
At any point during the hospital stay, you can change your mind about any aspect of the hospital plan or the adoption all together. Your social worker is here to help you with all of your options, including parenting if that’s what you decide. It’s difficult to make a plan when you don’t yet know how it’s going to feel; your hospital stay is your time to spend uninterrupted with your baby if you wish to have it.