Preparing for the Hospital
A Catholic open adoption allows you a relationship with the birth mother of your child. One of the many early benefits of open adoption is being able to attend the hospital when the child is born. Make sure you are prepared for this exciting day so the entire experience is one you will look back on with fond memories.
Planning for the Hospital
The Catholic adoption process allows you to plan details of each stage of the adoption. This includes the hospital visit. You and the birth mom will reach an agreement about when you will visit, where you will stay and what your role will be during labor and birth. She may ask that you are there with her from the onset of labor and through delivery. She might prefer that you give her space when she is laboring, but attend the birth. She might even want to have this time to herself, with the chance to hold the newly born baby before the adoption is finalized. All of these things are within her rights as long as you agree to them before the day the baby arrives.
Your adoption agreement will let you know exactly when you can meet your baby for the first time. In almost all cases, this happens immediately after the child is born. If it is important for you to be there, or to even cut the umbilical cord, it must be part of your legal documentation.
Patience is a Virtue
Nothing is every set in stone when it comes to childbirth. Labor can last for a few minutes or for more than a day. An emergency c-section is always a possibility. Some biological moms may be certain they will not want any pain relievers only to find that the pain of labor is much more intense than they had imagined. You should be prepared for any and all of these situations.
You are also very likely to see the birth mom go through a number of emotions. She might be very happy that the pregnancy is coming to an end. She could be thrilled to be giving you such a wonderful gift. She will probably also be very sad that she will not be raising the child. Allow her to have these emotions. Be understanding. Pray with her and for her.
Prepare for Goodbyes
Saying goodbye is the hardest part of the hospital visit. When you walk out with the baby, you will be walking away from the birth mom. Instead of assuming to know what she might want, ask her. She may prefer not to say goodbye. She might want to be able to hold the baby for a few minutes before letting go. Let the birth mom make this choice. After all, she has given you the greatest gift one person can give to another.