The hospital interval is an emotionally tenuous time for everyone, including the adoptive parents. Here are some things to be mindful of in preparation for the trip to the hospital.
We’ve focused on the hospital interval in varying blog posts over the years, including one written by Adoption STAR’s Associate Director Michael Hill back in October of 2011: Being Involved in the Expectant Family(‘s) Birth Plan as an Adoptive Parent
In thinking more about important hospital interval considerations, it might be helpful for prospective adoptive parents to remember the following:
- If a prospective adoptive parent and an expectant parent have spent time together and developed a good relationship in advance of the baby’s birth, it’s not unusual for the birth mother to ask the prospective adoptive parent(s) to be more intimately involved at the hospital. That could mean things like being present at the birth of the baby or possibly even serving as a labor coach. It’s important to remember that if you’re asked to be involved (and maybe to even assist) during labor and delivery, your focus needs to be on the expectant mother and her needs. Also, you need to recognize that the expectant parent can change her mind about any of this, and should feel entitled to do so (as opposed to being made to feel guilty about changing her mind).
- While being asked to be present for labor and delivery is clearly a great gift, it should never be presumed that prospective adoptive parents will have this opportunity. Prospective adoptive parents shouldn’t feel sad about this either, as many different factors (which are totally out of their control) may be at play here. Giving birth to a child is an intense physical and emotional experience, and privacy and personal comfort may trump having prospective adoptive parents in the delivery room, which is certainly understandable. Also, different hospitals may have different policies and procedures as it relates to who can be present during labor and delivery, and in some circumstances, and expectant parent might only be allowed to have a member of her family present.