open adoption experience at the hospitalQ: What steps should adoptive parents take if they think that their child’s birth parents are being pressured by the hospital staff to either place for adoption or not place?

A: Jennifer Bliss, the National Associate Counseling Director at the Independent Adoption Center,¬†answered: “The hospital experience is an emotional time for everyone involved. Most of the time, the hospital staff is aware of this and do their best to be sensitive to the needs of everyone involved. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you feel that a nurse, doctor, or social worker is pushing a personal agenda, it is important to get in touch with your adoption professional and let him or her know what is happening. Additionally, ask to speak to a supervisor and encourage him or her to also have a conversation with the birth mother so she can feel heard as well. During these few days at the hospital, see yourself as an advocate for the birth mother. If you sense that she is not being treated with respect, receiving proper attention, or being pressured in anyway, bring this to the attention of someone who can ameliorate the situation. Not only will it improve the birth mother’s experience, she will also see that you care about her as a person, which is one of the most powerful messages you can send her during this delicate time.”

For more information, you can listen to our radio show titled “Making a Hospital Plan in Open Adoption.”


Image credit: sean dreilinger