Your Plan- The Entire Time
If you are pregnant and thinking about giving up your baby for adoption, please know that we will respect your decision, and provide you with pressure-free counseling and support every step of the way. We will meet with you, face to face, and offer counseling at your convenience to help you decide if adoption is something that you would like to pursue, while never pressuring you to move forward. This is YOUR plan, and we will move as slowly or as quickly as you would like. You may wonder if this changes after you give birth, and are in the hospital, but this is still your plan, and your decision. And we will follow your lead the entire time. We will not pressure you to move towards any particular decision. You are in charge.
In the Hospital
You may wonder how we will support you in the hospital. We will come to the hospital to visit you and make sure your needs are being met, daily. We will help you work on any insurance needs or services that you may require, and do what we can to help you recover after delivery. An Open Arms Counselor will support you during this time, and will continue to offer you non-biased counseling. No one will push you into choosing adoption if it is not what you feel is ultimately the best choice for you and your baby. You can develop your own birth plan, and afterwards, you can determine what kind of interaction you would like with the baby. Some women choose to room-in with their newborn at the hospital, as they want to spend some alone-time with their baby caring for him/her. Other women find rooming-in with their baby too emotionally difficult. Either option (or somewhere in between) is available to you and Open Arms will support whatever you decide.
The Adoptive Family
Sometimes, women that are making an adoption plan prefer that the adoptive family that they have chosen from a group of approved Open Arm families, come to the hospital to visit them and the baby. Some women may choose this option as they desire to have the family come and hold the baby and begin bonding with the baby right away. While including the Adoptive Family at the hospital can feel like “a nice thing to do”, it is definitely not required. Sometimes, just giving you that quiet time alone with your baby, after you have given birth is the right choice for you. We just always want to respect your privacy, your choices and your plan, and if you call us, we will work through all of these options and help you come up with a plan that feels right to you.
Usually, you will be discharged from the hospital about two days after the baby is born, assuming there are no medical issues or a C-section and the baby should be discharged around then as well, again, assuming there are no issues that the medical team is monitoring. If that is the case, an Open Arms Counselor can drive you home from the hospital and get you situated, pick up anything that you may need and help in other ways that might be useful. If you are still feeling pretty sure about your adoption plan, but you just need a bit of time before deciding if/when you are going to sign any legally binding adoption documents, we actually can have the baby discharged from the hospital to us instead of the adoptive family that you may have chosen. We can bring the baby to one of our screened and approved Interim Care Families. Interim Care Families are families that Open Arms Adoption uses to take care of babies for a few days at a time. We have known all of these families for many years and most of them have grown children so they are very experienced in taking care of newborns. These families do not take care of babies long term – just short term. This is NOT foster care! This way, with the baby in Interim Care for a few days, you have the opportunity to spend some time recovering, resting, and talking with your counselor and your family/friends to see if you are still feeling solid about your adoption plan. This is an option many women consider as it is important to never feel that you were rushed in any way to make such an important decision.
At this point, you will continue to stay in touch with your Adoption Counselor who will help you process through your emotions and to see how you are feeling at this time. If after being discharged from the hospital, you are still feeling sure in your adoption plan, your counselor will schedule a time to get together with you to sign legal adoption paperwork. If you are hesitating, in any way, and feeling the least bit like you would be able to parent this new baby safely and happily, your Open Arms Adoption Counselor will help you get a plan in order to make that happen. If it’s finding some additional community resources , and rallying together your support system, your counselor can help talk you through preparing for this and will support your decision, wholeheartedly.
Should you decide to move forward with signing the legal adoption paperwork, your counselor will meet with you to go through the paperwork and explain it all, and when you understand all and feel ready, you may sign adoption paperwork. Open Arms will never pressure you to move forward with signing adoption paperwork. If you move forward with signing paperwork, we would then continue on with the adoption process and have the Adoptive Family sign paperwork shortly after to adopt the baby. We would continue to support you and provide counseling, as long as you like.
In the Long Term
Once the adoption has taken place, we will still be there for you- however and whenever you may need us. If you chose an Open Adoption, we can help you navigate your relationship with the Adoptive Family until you feel comfortable. If you prefer a Semi-Open Adoption, we are so happy to maintain contact with the family and pass along updates and photos keeping you updated with how the baby is doing. And, if you prefer a Confidential Adoption, one in which you receive no information regarding the baby, we will support you in this decision as well and provide any support that you may need. Adoption is not a one-day event, and with Open Arms, you can rely on us to be there for the life of your adoption—forever.