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A Pandemic Adoption

For those adopting from birth, the resulting hospital stay is a culmination of the challenges and hurdles you overcame during your adoption journey. It’s an incredibly powerful, often long-awaited moment. 

If you’re currently in the midst of that process, your adoption plan is likely disrupted by COVID-19. It’s a reality no one could have anticipated or expected, but it has affected all aspects of life—including the adoption process. What will your hospital stay look like during a pandemic? 

The pandemic will likely impact whether or not everyone will be able to gather at the hospital, but this will look different for everyone. While many hospitals have implemented similar policies, it’s imperative that you research your hospital’s COVID plan. The Center for Disease Control released a “Hospital Preparedness” list to guide healthcare providers through this process. Collaborate with your child’s birth family, and any adoption mentor, specialist, or social worker to redesign your birth plan in a way that protects the health, safety, and comfort level of your child’s birth mother first and foremost. 

If you’re unable to watch your child be born, and that was part of your original birth plan, there are options! Focus on what you can do and how you can make this experience as memorable as possible. 

  • Set up regular video or phone calls. This virtual “face to face” option provides you the opportunity to interact in the safest way possible. While this type of communication can be frustrating (staring at a screen or technical issues), it enables a more open line of communication. Plan one or two calls a month and take notes to help you remember questions or topics you want to address. 
  • Meet beforehand. This option should be used only if you and the birth family feel comfortable, safe, and healthy. While most hospitals are not allowing visitors, you could find a way to socially distance in an outdoor space to have that face to face time. 
  • Be clear about your feelings and hopes. This is not an easy situation for anyone, and most of it is beyond our control, but it is still important to verbalize your needs and expectations from this process even if it does look a little different. 

It’s hard not to feel stress when expecting a child during these uncertain times. We love this piece from Oprah Magazine, which features stories from multiple families going through their adoption during the pandemic. They offer a fresh perspective on everything from the court delays to changes in the birth plan. It’s tough to shift expectations, but there is still beauty and joy to be had in this process, and there is something life-changing on the other side.