While your baby’s birth mother is in the hospital, a social worker from the Social Services Department will visit to answer questions about the hospital, the adoption process, or parenting. You may visit during visitation hours, or stay in another room by request, but be considerate of the birth mother and hospital staff. Give them room to rest, recover, and do their job.
The birth mother has several rights during her hospital stay, including:
– Privacy status,
– Be placed on a different floor other than the maternity floor,
– See, hold, and/or feed the baby prior to termination of parental rights,
– Receive hospital mementos (photos, ID bracelet, cap, crib card, footprints, etc.), and
– Name the baby on the original birth certificate and receive a copy.
After the birth mother delivers the baby, she will usually be discharged from the hospital within 24 to 48 hours. She must then make a discharge plan for the baby. Her options are:
– Leave the baby at the hospital until after she signs legal documents – you may visit and bond with baby with her written permission;
– Allow an early release of the baby to you as the prospective adoptive parents;
– Allow an adult family member, relative, or friend to take the baby home;
– Place the baby into temporary foster care; or
– Take the baby home with her.
Birth parents must wait at least 72 hours before they can sign legal papers. Most birth parents will want you to receive physical custody of the child during this 72-hour wait. If so, the attorney will prepare an Early Release and Medical Power of Attorney. Keep in mind during this period you are only “babysitting” until the birth parent(s) sign all necessary legal documents.