– The Adoption Process: Part 4 of 5

Meeting BabyIf you have decided to grow your family through adoption, you have a long and exciting journey ahead of you. This five-part series is meant to give you the basics on the main steps of the process.

After a long journey of getting approved to adopt, waiting for an adoption opportunity, and getting to know a birth mother, the day is finally here – it’s time for the baby to arrive!

The hospital trip is the most anticipated event in an adoptive family’s journey. To help you prepare, we’ve answered some of the most common questions hopeful families have about what to expect. For more questions about the details of the big day, feel free to get in touch with one of our Adoption Specialists at 1-800-ADOPTION.

When do I need to travel?

As soon as the birth mother goes into labor, you will be contacted and notified to travel. Since it’s usually impossible to predict when this will happen, we recommend that you don’t make travel plans based on the mother’s due date. Wait for directions from your adoption professional, and then arrange for travel as quickly as possible.

Who should travel to see the birth mother?

If you are adopting as a couple, you and your partner should both be present at the hospital. If you have other children, make arrangements for someone to care for them at home. Because the birth mother will need your full attention during this time, it is best if only the adoptive parents meet her at the hospital.

What should I bring with me?

Here is a list of the basic things you will need to have with you:

What to take before you go:

  • 1-2 receiving blankets
  • 3-4 onesies, pajamas and other weather-appropriate baby clothes (more can be bought later)
  • 1 going-home outfit for the day of discharge
  • 2-4 bottles and pacifiers
  • Camera
  • Gifts for the birth parents, if applicable

What to buy when you get there:

  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • Car seat
  • Pack-n-play or other item where the baby can sleep

When will I get to see the baby?

The procession of events at the hospital is up to the birth mother. Before the birth, she will have made a hospital plan indicating who she wants to see at the hospital, how much time she wants with her baby, and more.

Can I bring a gift for the birth mother?

It depends on where you live, but a gift of some kind is always a good idea! Check with your Adoption Specialist to see what gift ideas are allowable in your state.

When does placement occur?

Every state has different laws regarding placement. Usually, a birth mother will be able to give written consent between 12 and 72 hours after giving birth, at which point custody will be transferred to you.

What do I do next?

If you are adopting from another state, you will first have to stay in the birth mother’s state for 7-10 business days while you wait for ICPC clearance. After that, you will be ready to go home and begin the post-placement period.

Stop by tomorrow for the fifth and final part of the adoption process: post-placement and finalization!