Making a birthing plan is typically something that every pregnant woman does. You discuss your ideal medical scenario with your medical professional, then make sure that everyone at the hospital or birthing center is aware of your wishes. When you’ve made an adoption plan, there are additional decisions you’ll need to make so that you can ensure everyone is on the same page regarding your expectations.

Birthing plans often include directives regarding the use of medications during delivery and any timely after-birth decisions like cord blood banking, as well as your decisions regarding the use of formulas, circumcision, and vaccinations. However, when adoption is part of your post-birth planning, you will need to address a couple of additional things, such as: your desire to have visitors and who those visitors can be, and your desire to have the potential adoptive family at the hospital, as well as their role in the birth, if any. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve made your desires known to the professionals involved regarding all of the typical decisions. Sometimes when adoption is involved, it’s easy for the professionals around you to forget that for the period during your hospital stay, you’re still the legal parent and should be the one making the parenting decisions if you choose to.

Things you’ll want to think about when creating your birthing plan are:

  • How would you like to manage your labor?
  • How do you feel about monitoring devices?
  • Will you need to be induced?
  • How do you feel about pain medication?
  • What if a Cesarean becomes necessary?
  • Would you like to avoid an episiotomy?
  • Do you want cameras/video cameras? Music?
  • How should your baby be handled immediately after birth?

Because adoption is involved, you’ll need to think about the following as well:

  • Do you want to have visitors at the hospital? If so, who?
  • Do you want to have the potential adoptive parents at the hospital? If so, what role will they play, if any, in the birth?
  • Will you be making decisions related to the medical care of the child? If so, have you thought about the different decisions you’ll need to make related to circumcision, vaccination, and any other potential life-saving decisions should there be a problem?
  • Have you decided on a name?
  • Do you wish to stay on the maternity floor or would you prefer to be moved to a different floor?

There are many decisions you’ll need to make when creating your adoption birthing plan. As with any decisions involved in adoption, communication is key. Collaboration on important decisions can be a great first step in creating a strong relationship should you choose to become involved in open adoption.