«When you are matched. A step along your adoption journey © 2013 Michele Fried for Congratulations you have been matched Please note that we did ...»
When you are
A step along
© 2013 Michele Fried for
Please note that we did not say, congratulations you are adopting a
baby. You will find that we will try to do our best not to congratulate
you on adopting until your baby is in your arms. There are several
1. The expectant parents are the baby’s parents until they choose
to sign their adoption papers.
2. The expectant parents should be treated as such not only for the legal reason above, but because they have the right emotionally as well to change their mind about their adoption plan.
3. You may change your mind. While that might sound shocking now ~ this has occurred. Perhaps something unforeseen happens in your life or the expectant parents receive a medical diagnosis not previously known that you are uncomfortable with, or the baby is born with special needs that you feel you could not handle.
It is important that you, as the prospective adoptive parent(s) realize that though the match is a part of the adoption journey, it is not the end of the journey. It is a time to be happy, it is a time to celebrate as it is a step toward adopting, but it is not a definite plan.
While you should remain positive, somewhere you need to reserve a little bit of your heart to remind yourself and to understand that a match may not turn into a placement.
Match Paperwork In addition to this book, you have also received lots of paperwork regarding your “match.” This paperwork will include a Match Letter, Match Form and Financial Risk Statement and may also include background and medical information on the expectant parents.
It is very important that you carefully review all the paperwork you receive and to keep a copy.
Sharing the news It is a very personal decision whether or not to share with family, friends and co-workers that you have been matched. There are several
things to consider when deciding who you may choose to share the news with:
1. If you plan on taking time off from work, when do you need to prepare those at your place of work?
2. If you require child care for other children you are parenting, when do you need to arrange things if you suddenly get a call that the expectant parent(s) want you in the delivery room or the baby has been born and the expectant parent(s) wish you to visit the baby in the hospital?
3. If you tell your family and friends will they be supportive of you during the match period and if the match falls through?
Meeting the expectant parents Now that you are matched you may have just learned tha
Our best advice is to just be you. Dress casually if that is who you are or dress up if you feel it is the occasion to do so. Act as you would to any extended family member. If you are a hugger, then hug the expectant mother! Try to sit close and to remember that you are not being interviewed. You were already selected! She just wants to meet you. With that said, please don’t interview her. Leave the hard questions to the agency.
This is a time to get to know each other. It is an awesome experience to meet each other.
Bring a camera, though we can’t promise that the expectant parent will let you take photos of her, it is encouraged by the agency to begin your baby album by having photos with you and the child’s birth mother.
Most importantly, remember the expectant parent will have the same fears that you do.
She will ask what she should wear, what she should ask and she will definitely wonder, “what if they don’t like me?” You are probably worried about the same thing.
These meetings are so neat for the agency staff too as right in front of our eyes, we see two groups of strangers meet each other and within less than five minutes, you feel like you have known each other forever. It isn’t that you have learned that much about each other in such a short time, but rather it’s a feeling, a connection that brings you together… and it is just so special.
During the meeting we encourage you to share information about yourselves and show the expectant parent that you are interested in her, not just the baby. Also, even if you are open to post adoption contact, it is important to not make promises you cannot keep.
Often, we get so emotional and excited that we make promises that may not be realistic.
Take time to get to know each other.
It is okay to laugh. Most likely you will giggle and laugh or even cry during your first meeting. All of this is okay!
The agency does its best to get you ready for your meeting and to follow up with you after your meeting. If you feel you need more support before and after, then please let us know!
Post Adoption Contact Agreements Domestic adoptions at Adoption STAR often involve agreements between adoptive and birth parents to maintain communication after the placement of the baby.
Terms of Post Placement Contact Ideally the kind and amount of post placement contact will be discussed and decided between adoptive parents and birth parents prior to placements. In many situations the post placement relationship will evolve to greater openness as trust develops over time. The agreement typically describes the type and amount of communication the adoptive family and birth family will have. It often addresses the sharing of photos, letters and communication through technology such as e-mail and social media.
There are all kinds of ways that recent technology can be part of post adoption contact.
Some adoptive parents send videos to their child’s birth parents, others exchange phone numbers, home addresses, e-mail addresses, and even “friend” each other on Facebook.
Whatever the method of communicating, it needs to be based on mutual respect and acceptance of reasonable boundaries. As you all have the child’s needs and best interests at heart, so it is important to develop the kind of trust that makes your communications mutually satisfying. You should be aware of the recommendations Adoption STAR has made regarding utilizing social media and adoption: http://adoptionstar.com/childplacement/adoption-and-social-media-recommendations-for-healthy-ongoingcommunication/
Sharing the birth of the baby with the birth mother Sometimes an expectant parent asks the adoptive parent or parents to be in labor and delivery or a c-section with her. Everyone reacts differently to this request. You may have been dreaming about this opportunity or you may be dreading it. Please know that though the agency supports openness in adoption, we truly believe that the time in the hospital, including that of birth and delivery should be the birth family’s time. We will carefully explore this request with the birth parent to be sure it is truly what she wants.
The experience will be amazing for you, but you will need to understand that you will see this woman experience a range of emotions aside from her physical pain. What you will see is what we see all the time. It is okay that they fall in love with their baby. It is okay that they hold their baby. It is okay that they cry. It is okay if she asks you to hold the baby. Because you will be together in this very intense time you will see and possibly learn things that is not known to the agency yet. You may feel intimidated, frightened and need additional support. It is important to realize that this is not a scripted experience, but one where anything can happen so it is important to accept the invitation to participate in this experience if you feel you are the type of person who can be very patient, supportive, both physically and verbally to the laboring woman and strong enough to respect her possible roller coaster of emotions.
Even if you don’t share the birthing experience with the birth mother, she may invite you to visit with her and/or the baby while at the hospital. It is important that this gesture come directly from her. If visiting, again confirm it is okay with her and call before all visits. Don’t bring other family members with you. Hospital staff members are sometimes nervous that boundaries are crossed and the patient (birth mother) does not get the time she needs or wants with the baby. Remember, if the placement occurs, you have a lifetime with the baby.
Planning for placement day When the baby is born, it will no doubt be an exciting, emotional and overwhelming few days. This is often the hardest time for the baby’s biological family and they will second-guess their decision.
That is normal. That should be expected. The agency will provide
you with the following information:
BIRTH PARENT BACKGROUND INFORMATION (unless given to you pre-birth.)
INFORMATION ON LABOR AND DELIVERY STATS ON BABY OPEN ADOPTION DESIRES OF BIRTH FAMILY (though you were provided this upon match, this may change after the baby is born.)
PLANS FOR BIRTH PARENT TO SIGN ADOPTION PAPERS
PLANS FOR PLACEMENT DAY
DISCUSSION OF FEES DUE AT TIME OF PLACEMENTThe following is information that the agency needs from you before you sign your
adoption papers and before you pick up the baby:
NAME, ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER OF PEDIATRICIAN
FULL NAME AND SPELLING OF THE NAME YOU WISH TO GIVE YOURBABY
ADOPTION ATTORNEY YOU WISH TO WORK WITH
WHO WILL BE ATTENDING PLACEMENT DAY WITH YOU
The following are things you will need to bring with you on placement day:
INFANT CAR SEAT (out of the box, and set up in your car. You will need to know how to use it!) BABY BAG INFANT OUTERWEAR (based on weather – hat, blankets, bunting, etc. The agency will provide you with a “going home” outfit.)
PLACEMENT FEES INCLUDING POST PLACEMENT FEES - CERTIFIEDCHECK CAMERA AND/OR VIDEO CAMERA FRIENDS AND/OR FAMILY (only if you wish and based on the circumstances and logistics of the day.) POSSIBLY A GIFT FOR BIRTH PARENT(S), such as flowers, candy, jewelry (with baby’s birth stone, for example), photo album or frame, framed poem, an engraved gift, gift basket (bath and body spa products, etc.) or books (An adoption book or books, such as the following book, is a special gift to give.) A Birthparent's Book of Memories by Brenda Romanchik - This beautiful package comes with fill-in-the-blank scrapbook pages for a birth parent to fill out. There are sections for explaining the birth family's history, the pregnancy, the adoption process, the birth, and more. The birth parent can one day return the gift to the child. This book and other adoption related books may be found at www.tapestrybooks.com If you are traveling a distance to pick up your baby, below is an additional list that may help you prepare.
DIAPER BAG WITH DIAPERING SUPPLIES
BLANKETS: 1 REGULAR COTTON, 3 RECEIVING, 2 SWADDLE, 1 SMALL QUILT TO USE IN HOTEL ROOM
AS A CHANGING PAD BASE
WINTER COAT & HAT (AS SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE) NEWBORN HATS: ABOUT 5 MITTS: 3 PAIRS ONESIES: 8-10 GOWNS: 5-7
SOCKS: 8 PAIRS PLUS ONE PAIR OF BOOTIES PJ'S: ONE PAIR BURP CLOTHS: 7-10
OUTFITS: JUST A FEW ~ GOWNS ARE DEFINITELY THE MOST PRACTICAL FOR A NEWBORN.
MICROWAVE BOTTLE STERILIZER OR DISHWASHER BASKET FOR PACIFIERS AND NIPPLES.
BOUNCY SEAT: ASSEMBLED THERE. USED OFTEN IN HOTEL- ESPECIALLY HELPFUL FOR BABY TOSLEEP IN.
INFANT CAR SEAT WITH COVER DIAPERS & WIPES
DISPOSABLE INFANT WASHCLOTHS
INFANT STAIN REMOVING PRODUCT AND DETERGENT
IF TRAVELING WITH ANOTHER CHILD OR CHILDREN, PACK LITTLE "SURPRISES" TO OPEN ALONG
THE WAY, INCLUDING A SPECIAL ONE FOR THE HOSPITAL. (A DOLL AND CAR SEAT LIKE MOMMY'S).
When you are traveling out-of-state for an adoption it is impossible to know how long you will be there. If you can, DEFINITELY stay close to the hospital the baby was born at in a SUITE (with a separate bedroom and a kitchen). Call the concierge at the hotel and tell them why you are coming. They have amazing connections and often have a soft spot when they hear you are adopting.
I also brought with us:
Directions! Go to the Chamber of Commerce website for the city you will be staying in. They have some great recommendations. Also, if you won't be traveling with a GPS (which I highly recommend) print out directions to and from hospital, hotel, and restaurants in advance.
What we didn't bring:
Formula- didn't know what kind she would be on. The hospital provided more than enough to get us through the week and then some.
Pack and Play- it was too cumbersome. We just used her car seat and the bouncy chair.
Who should attend placement day with you Depending upon when and where “placement day” occurs, it is
important to consider a number of things:
1. If you have a child or other children, it is often recommended that if they are younger than school age, they should probably stay at home with a family member or family friend. Why?
Because placement day takes awhile, it is filled with signing of legal paperwork, discussing legal and other confidential information, and most importantly it is very emotional. It may involve meeting the birth parent(s) for the first time or witnessing the birth parents hand the baby to you. Though this sounds beautiful, young children need supervision and attention and the staff of the agency will need you to be focused on the paperwork, the birth parents and of course the new baby.