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For birth mothers, the hospital stay is incredibly strenuous both physically and mentally. Because of this, it is important to set up a hospital plan, so that you can be fully prepared for what to expect. In the hospital, the birth mother has options about what she wants to do both before, during, and after birth. In Missouri, there are specific practices that help birth mothers through the hospital stay process. Below is some specific information for birth parents looking to create a hospital plan in the state of Missouri.

Consent for adoption: In Missouri, before the adoption can become official, there is a 48- hour waiting period. After that 48 hours, the birth mother can officially give her consent. The birth father, if present, can give his consent at any point during the 48 hours. After this period, formal consent must be submitted in writing. The birth mother, the birth father (if he established paternity), and the adoptive parents, must all consent to the adoption. In addition, there must be two other witnesses present. After this, there is typically a 3-day waiting period before the adoption can be finalized legally. During these 3 days, the birth mother is able to think about her decision. Even if she initially consented to the adoption, she has the right to change her mind. Once it is formally reviewed and accepted by the court, the adoption is official. During this period, the birth mother also has a right to choose how she wants to spend it with her baby. This is why it is important to come up with an appropriate hospital plan to meet your individual needs.

 Creating a hospital plan: A birth mother has complete control about how she wants her hospital experience to be. In Missouri, a birth mother even has the option to decide if she wants the adoptive parents in the delivery room at the time of the birth. She also can decide who gets to hold the child first. Once the birth occurs, the birth mother can decide how many visitors she can have during the hospital stay and who is able to come to visit you and your new baby. The birth mother also has the right to name her baby, even if the adoptive parents decide to legally change the name after the adoption. During your hospital stay, a birth mother also can decide how much time she spends with the child. While the decision is up to the mother, statistics indicate that spending more time with your child, while difficult, can help the birth mother grieve and give her the closure she needs.

After the birth: Once the baby is born and placed with their adoptive family, the adoption process continues. The adoption plan has been decided on continues. The birth mother will have worked out an appropriate agreement with the adoptive parents about how much contact she will be able to have with the child. The birth mother is also given the appropriate resources to help with the grieving process. It is important to remember that the hospital stay is one of the most emotional parts of the process. Remember that all your feelings about the situation are valid and important. Because of this, it is important to understand your rights and know that even if you made a pre-existing hospital plan, you can change your mind at any point.

Julianna McKenna is a college student at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana double majoring in English Writing and Psychology. She is passionate about adoption and foster care and is considering a career in adoption law or counseling. In January 2019, Julianna became an intern for Adoption Choices of Kansas, Inc. She is incredibly dedicated to promoting children’s rights and is excited to research and advocate for children.

 

References:

Adoptions Together. (2018, August 07). Placing a Baby for adoption and your hospital stay. Retrieved from https://www.adoptionstogether.org/blog/2018/08/01/what-all-birth-moms-should-know-about-the-hospital-stay/

American Adoptions, Inc. (n.d.). “What does adoption mean to a child?” Retrieved from https://www.americanadoptions.com/missouri-adoption/giving-baby-up-for-adoption-in-missouri.

How to adopt in Missouri. (n.d.) Retrieved from https://consideringadoption.com/adoptions-by-state/how-to-adopt-in-missouri.

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