In an ideal world, every adoptive family would be matched with a prospective birth mother early in the process, giving them time to get to know her and prepare for bringing an adopted child home. However, this is not always the case.
It’s not uncommon for a pregnant woman to give birth at the hospital and then realize that she cannot be the parent she wants to be for her baby. So, instead, she starts the adoption process in the hospital, including finding the right adoptive family, completing all the legal steps and making sure her child has the best possible opportunities in life.
If you are a prospective adoptive family who receives a call from your matching professional that a last-minute adoption in the hospital is available to you, you may wonder, “Can you even adopt a baby in the hospital?” The answer is most certainly yes. While it may seem like a stressful situation to have a last-minute, pop-up adoption, know that you will have professionals with you every step of the way.
What to Do When You Get a Call About Adoption in the Hospital
While you may have thought about the possibility of a pop-up adoption, you may not have ever seriously considered what you would do if you got this phone call. The most important thing is not to panic or stress out at this unplanned match — instead, celebrate that you’ve finally been chosen by a prospective birth mother!
Hopefully, you will have already made preparations for any childcare, pet-care, housesitting and other necessities. Your employer should know about you pursuing adoption, so when you notify them of your inability to be in work for an undetermined amount of time, they should already be prepared for this. (If you’re still waiting for a prospective birth mother match, make sure that you take these steps now to avoid having to complete them in the excitement of a last-minute adoption).
You should make travel arrangements as soon as you hear of your adoption opportunity, whether that means packing the car and driving to the hospital or checking to see when the next available flight is. The social worker who notified you of the adoption in the hospital will give you information on when to arrive at the hospital and what to bring with you.
A Last-Minute Adoption: What Happens at the Hospital?
As you’re making your way to the hospital, your social worker will likely give you all the information she can about the prospective birth mother, her plan for adoption and what to expect at the hospital. In many ways, the adoption process in the hospital in Texas for a pop-up adoption is not much different than any other planned adoption — just a bit expedited.
Once you reach the hospital, you will likely meet the prospective birth mother and her baby, if she is comfortable meeting with you. What this meeting will look like will be largely up to her; when she’s ready to have you meet her and the baby, you may be able to come into her hospital room or wherever she’s most comfortable. Take this meeting graciously and slowly, and don’t try to push her to give you time alone with the baby or more time with her until she’s ready for it. You may be anxious to get to know your potential adopted child, but remember that until the prospective birth mother signs her consent forms, she has not made her adoption decision yet. Respect her and her feelings (your social worker should give you advice on how to navigate some of the more difficult conversations).
When the birth mother and your baby are discharged will depend on their individual circumstances. The birth mother’s release preferences will have been decided with her social worker, but it’s important to be flexible, as her preferences may change after meeting and getting to know you at the hospital.
While completing an adoption at the hospital, especially one with no prior preparation, can be stressful, your flexibility and patience will play a key role in the success of the process. It’s important that you understand what a pop-up adoption may look like before one even happens; your adoption agency may already have a plan in place that will make the adoption process in the hospital in Texas much easier.
To learn more about the legal process of adoption consent in the hospital or to start your adoption process today, you can always talk to an adoption lawyer at the law firm of Brown Pruitt by calling 817-338-4888.