Staff Photos Megan SmallerHello, my name is Megan Kautio, and I am the Assistant Executive Director of American Adoptions. I have worked with many birth mothers and adoptive families in my time here at American Adoptions and love being able to watch families form through adoption.

Q. Why is it important for both adoptive parents to be present at the child’s birth?

A. When birth parents sit down and choose the adoptive family they want to raise their baby, they take many factors into account and most often choose a family because they see something special in the parents and their relationship. Furthermore, the birth mother may not have any support from the father of the baby and/or may not have had two parents when she was growing up. Often one of the key things she wants for her child – something she cannot give, something she never had – is a two-parent family.

It is imperative that both the adoptive mother and adoptive father be present when the baby is born and during the hospital time. Birth parents need to know that their baby is the top priority for the adoptive parents. If one parent cannot travel, the birth mother may feel like she and the baby are not that important and may also begin second-guessing what future life may be like in the family she has chosen and if that parent will be absent frequently. During a time that is already fraught with emotion and doubt, it is important that the adoptive parents do all they can to support the birth parents and not add any additional doubts or fears.

It is also important that both adoptive parents find a way to bond and interact with the birth parents and their support persons while in the hospital. It is not uncommon for one person to be more social, outgoing or comfortable in this setting, but it is important that both parents find a way to engage the birth parents and be involved throughout the process.

Should you need suggestions or guidance with this, your Adoptive Family Specialist will gladly provide ideas on how you can make sure to accomplish this.