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Communicating Your Adoption Plan to the Hospital

Pregnant woman sits in hospital room discussing her adoption plan with the doctor.The birth of a child requires a lot of forethought on the part of the mother. You should think about what you want from this experience. What is your birth plan (and adoption plan)? While some things may be out of your control, there are quite a few elements of the birth of which you have complete control. 

“Careful planning and preparation will ensure that the wishes of all those involved, birth parents and adoptive parents, are respected and carried out, and that time spent together at the hospital will be remembered fondly,” says Peter J. Wiernicki, Esq. 

Step #1 – Review Hospital Policy

“The delivery and hospital stay of the child and biological mother is a tender yet nerve-wracking time for everyone involved,” writes Annaleece Merrill,

Different hospitals have different policies, so ask your hospital for a list of written instructions that you can carefully review. Then, you can begin to craft your adoption plan and map out your birth experience accordingly. Just remember, all pregnancies are different and it’s impossible to predict exactly what will happen, such as an emergency C-section.

“I can guarantee that everything will not go exactly how you planned it,” says Merrill. “Roll with the punches while sticking as close to the plan as is comfortable.”

Here are a few things you may want to consider when crafting your birth plan:

  • Who will be in the room during the birth? The adoptive family? The birth father?As the birth mother, you are completely in control of who is in your room at all times (within the rules of the hospital). This includes before, during, and after the birth. Do not feel pressured to make everyone else feel comfortable. You should do what makes YOU feel most comfortable. This hospital stay should be tailored to your needs and wishes.
  • Will you have any contact with the baby after birth? Will the baby stay with you in the nursery? Some birth mothers choose to spend time with their baby. Still, a lot of birth mothers choose not to see the baby at all. “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 if they hold the baby,” says one adoption professional. For many, it comes down to the type of adoption you’ve chosen. If you’ve chosen an open adoption, it might be nice to have some one-on-one time with your child. However, if you’ve chosen a closed adoption, meaning no future contact with the child, some birth mothers find it easier to choose not to see the child after birth. 
  • Will you release the baby directly to the adoptive family? Can you?  In some cases, the birth mother can “have the baby discharged directly to the adoptive parents when allowed,” says Wiernicki. “If the hospital insists on releasing the baby to the birth mother, you may be able to reach a compromise whereby a third party, such as a relative, an attorney, or an agency social worker, takes custody.”

Of course, remember that a hospital plan is a blueprint, not a contract. You have the flexibility to change your mind at any time.

Step #2 – Communicating Your Adoption Plan to the Hospital

On top of communicating your wishes to the hospital ahead of time, you should also notify the hospital “of the adoption as far in advance of the birth mother’s due date as possible,” says Wiernicki. If you are working with an agency, have them “coordinate with the hospital social worker to ensure an appropriate setting.” The staff social worker will communicate with hospital staff to ensure your birth plan and adoption plan proceed as intended.

At Adoption Makes Family, we will work with you every step of the way to ensure your birth and adoption plans run as smoothly as possible. We are a non-profit (501-C3) licensed adoption agency based in Maryland founded to meet the needs of birth parents and adoptive parents in a manner that is sensitive, compassionate, and personal. Our experienced professionals can help walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have.

Call Us Now at (410) 683-2100

If you have any questions, you can contact us by phone at 410-683-2100, by e-mail at or use our online contact form.


  1. Merrill, Annaleece. “Guide To Hospital Etiquette For The Delivery Of Your Adopted Child.”,
  2. Wiernicki, Peter. “The Hospital Adoption Process – What You Need to Know.” Adoptive Families, 16 Oct. 2017,
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