Newborn Adoption: What Birth Mothers and Adoptive Parents Want to Know

In an ideal world, all children would have the opportunity to be born into a loving family that can care for them and provide for their needs. But in the real world there are circumstances that can prevent that opportunity from being realized. For a woman learning to deal with an unplanned pregnancy who finds herself in a situation that is not conducive to becoming a mother for life, adoption is a win-win solution for her, her child, and the adoptive parents.

If you or someone you know are considering if you want to give a child up for adoption—or if you are looking into newborn adoption—here is a look at the common questions both parties ask concerning what to expect of the adoption process.

Q: How are the baby and the adoptive parents matched up?

Years ago, when closed adoptions were the norm, babies were matched to their new parents by social workers. But in today’s world of open adoptions, the birth mother has the right to select the family she feels is best suited for her child. Assisted by the adoption agency, birth mothers play an active role in screening and vetting all parent candidates. During the parental selection process, qualified adoption specialists work closely with the birth mother to conduct a parental search based on her criteria, taking factors such as age, race, religion, location, and current family size into account. The degree of contact that the birth mother desires to have with the adoptive parents before her child is born, and with the child and new family after the adoption takes place, will also be factored into the search. During the selection process, the birth mother will receive printed and video profiles to help her narrow down the list of prospective candidates and find the best fit for her baby.

Q: What kind of care will the birth mother receive during her pregnancy?

This is an important question for both birth mothers and parents considering newborn adoption. That being said, it should be pointed out upfront that, while the safest and healthiest pregnancy and delivery possible is a major priority for adoptive parents, the reality is that many birth mothers do not receive regular healthcare throughout their pregnancies. In fact, many will receive little to no prenatal care at all.

One of the main reasons for a birth mother receiving inadequate care is that her pregnancy was unexpected to begin with. As a result, the early signs and symptoms that an unplanned pregnancy has occurred may be dismissed until several weeks have passed. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, denial and fear may cause a woman to delay seeking proper healthcare until she comes to terms with her situation and formulates an adoption plan. Even then a lack of health insurance, funds, or family support may cause a birth mother to put off prenatal care further or altogether.    

Adoption agencies play a vital role in supporting birth mothers and encouraging them to receive proper care and support during the pregnancy. Birth mothers without medical insurance may be encouraged and assisted in applying for health insurance and, if necessary, Medicaid. Should these efforts fail, adoptive parents can opt to help pay for prenatal care and hospital bills, providing that the payments are made as an “act of charity” and not in exchange for the birth mother’s promise for adoption. Adoption agencies can help birth mothers choose a healthcare provider and assist with travel arrangements to and from the doctor. But adoptive parents need to understand that the quality of care that the birth mother receives is ultimately up to her.

Q: What about the birth father?

Both birth mothers and adoptive parents may have concerns about what affect the rights of the baby’s biological father may have on the adoption. Generally, birth fathers fall into the following categories: involved and supportive, unsupportive, unknown, and/or uninvolved. This applies to teen parents, seasoned adults, and anyone in between. It is the responsibility of the birth mother to determine the birth father’s rights, and an adoption agency will work with her to make sure that the newborn adoption process goes as smooth as possible for all parties concerned.

Q: What will happen in the delivery room?

All costs and legal formalities aside, for birth mothers and adoptive parents it all comes down to the delivery room. For birth mothers who have sacrificed and cared for their babies the last nine months, it’s about seeing firsthand that precious gift that they have chosen to bring into the world. For adoptive parents who have waited for this special day to come, it’s about the sonogram picture they have kept on the fridge finally becoming the newborn baby that they will soon be taking home.

Birth mothers and adoptive parents should know that the birth mother has the final say about what takes place in the delivery room. Every aspect, including who gets to be in the delivery room, who will be the first to hold the baby, and how she spends those brief and special moments with her newborn are up to the birth mother and her alone. Here again an adoption agency can be of service in helping to establish a suitable plan for both the desires of the mother and those of the adoptive parents within the delivery room.

Q: How much interaction will there be between the birth mother and the adoptive parents?

In this day and age of open adoptions, birth mothers are allowed a number of options to stay in contact with adopted children and their families. Emails, phone calls, and even personal visits are possible to help birth mothers and adoptive parents get to know one another better before the child is born. Once the adoption is final and with the approval of the new parents, birth mothers may also be permitted to reach out through phone calls and Skype or FaceTime sessions and social media.

By addressing these and other questions up front, newborn baby adoption can be a positive experience for birth mothers, adoptive parents, and most important of all, for the child.

Q: Who can I talk to if I want to learn more about the newborn adoption process?

To learn more about newborn adoption and how A Guardian Angel can assist you and your family, please contact us here or at our toll-free number, 877-74-ANGEL