What Happens at the Hospital After I Have My Baby?

shutterstock_742516870Deciding to place a child for adoption naturally leads to a lot of questions. One of the most common questions parents have is, “What’s going to happen at the hospital?” Encompassed here are questions about seeing the baby after it’s born, whether the adoptive parents will be there, and much more. Fortunately, many of the answers to these questions depend greatly on your decisions.

Pre-Hospital Decisions

There are several decisions that should be made before you ever get to the hospital, particularly if you’ve been planning the adoption for some time. One of the most important decisions you’ll make is who will be present at the birth. Some mothers prefer to be alone during the birth, as well as before and after. Not wanting contact with the child or the adoptive parents is completely understandable, but so is wanting the adoptive parents present in the labor room and to hold and see the baby after the birth. This is something you need to decide, either with or without input from the adoptive parents, before .

Having friends or family present at the hospital is also a decision for you to make. Remember, your emotions will likely run high, if only from the hormonal shift following birth. Because of the stress involved, you may decide you don’t want or need anyone to be close to you during this time. That’s also perfectly understandable and acceptable. If you choose to have a support system, though, it’s important to surround yourself with people who will give you the moral support you need, be they your own family, close friends, or the adoptive family.

Decisions During Your Hospital Stay

For some mothers, seeing the baby is extremely important in helping them process the adoption; for others, such closure is not required. It’s up to you to decide how to proceed; do what’s best for you. Keep in mind that many make decisions, and some feel that they should have decided differently; you’ve carefully considered both options.

The child will have to be named after birth, even if that name will later be changed by the adoptive parents. An adoption counselor or other person involved in the process could help with this, if necessary. Some adoptive parents keep the given name of the child. Don’t be afraid to discuss these things during the adoption process

Taking Control of the Decision-Making Process

Regardless of the decisions you’ve made previously, you can change your mind about any or all of them. If you’ve chosen not to see the child, you haven’t given up the right to do so. Should you decide it’s in your best interest to see the baby, simply ask a nurse to bring the child to your room, or visit him or her in the nursery. Just make sure you’re communicating your needs, either to an adoption counselor or another advocate on your behalf. Your needs should be considered throughout your hospital stay.

Taking Care of Yourself

No matter how you choose to handle the decisions surrounding the actual birth, the birth itself will be much like every other birth. It will be tiring and taxing, your emotions may run out of control, and you may experience a range of feelings you didn’t expect. It’s always important to remember that all of this is okay, and completely normal; an experienced adoption advocate can help you through this process, and, no matter what, the decisions are yours to make.


“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax