Although adoptions have continued, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how they are done. Adoptive families and birth parents are faced with additional challenges like restrictions on travel and day to day policy changes of hospitals.
We at Destiny Adoption want to give you a quick reference guide on the basics of what to expect and how to navigate these changes.
STEP 1 – How COVID-19 has Affected Home Studies
One of the major pieces that seems to be changing is home studies and the laws and restrictions associated with the accepted practices state to state. We conduct home studies and consult in Tennessee and Florida with adoptive families and each state is different. We retain the best adoption legal teams and stay up to date on home study best practices during COVID-19.
Many states are accepting home studies conducted over zoom or video conference and we are completely flexible at Destiny to accommodate based on the accepted practices in your state and your comfortability and desire.
STEP 2 – What to Expect with Meeting Your Birthmom
During the pandemic, our number one goal is to keep our birthmoms and babies safe. We are navigating the desire and wishes of birthparents and adoptive families to meet face to face and our priority of safety for all involved.
Most of our birthmom and adoptive family meetings are taking place over zoom or video conferencing (Facetime, etc..). Some are happening with phone calls.
We realize that this may not perfectly fit your expectations, but we assure you we have seen beautiful families adopt during this pandemic and really enjoy and find fulfillment in the process.
We promise you that we try and make sure that you and the birthparent are fully aware and reminded of the communication plan and do our best to facilitate a successful placement.
STEP 3 – What you need to know about new changes to Adoptions
-Changes to the birth and placement at the hospital
Your agency should reach out to the hospital on the birth plan to discuss protocol regarding the adoptive family during labor, delivery and placement paperwork.
Some of the questions they (agency) should ask are:
When is the adoptive family allowed in the hospital?
How long are we allowed to stay?
What are your safety protocols that need to followed during a visit?
Can representatives from our agency also enter the hospital?
Our goal at Destiny is to give the birthmom the support or space she needs and stay flexible with our adoptive families.
We are closely connected to our birthmoms throughout their pregancy and even more so as the birth and hospitalization approaches. We are always making sure our birthmoms feel they are being heard and honored throughout the journey.
We will help you the family navigate smoothly any changes from the birth mom or restrictions that the hospital puts in place as smoothly as possible.
-Changes to out of state adoptions
One of the major changes has been travel restriction and our state governments response time to finalizations. So everything with your timeline needs to take these changes into consideration. Drive times will often be longer. State responses are slower. Hospitals are understaffed and may not communicate as quickly as normal. Prepare to be inconvenienced and expect to be delayed.
We will do the research with you and help you prepare for what that may look like depending on the state you are from and the state you are adopting in.
STEP 4 – How to Navigate Changes to Communication and Contact with Your Birthmom After Placement
As the adoptive family, you have a powerful voice during this confusing and chaotic time. Take the time to think about the impact of the pandemic on your child’s birthmom and how you may be able to reach out with a kind word, update or picture to assure her that your child is doing well.
Fear and worry are often elevated during global crisis like this one and you can communicate peace and security. Let them know how school (home, hybrid or in-person) is going or any milestones that have occurred while things have been locked down. Walking, teething, first soccer game, losing a tooth, etc… are all really thoughtful things to communicate.
For those of you with fully open adoptions, an in person visit may be out of the question but you can absolutely connect with Zoom or FaceTime and have a virtual coffee and allow the birthmom to interact with your family and child.
For those of you with closed or semi-open adoptions, we encourage you to reach out to your agency and advocate with pictures and updates to be passed along to the birthmom. At Destiny, we strive to maintain connection to all of our birthmoms after placement and try to facilitate passing along important and thoughtful updates that you provide to us.
This too shall pass and we will slowly adjust and get back to a new normal. At Destiny, we will help you with all of the changes and adjustments as we continue to navigate the affect of COVID-19 on adoptions. Please reach out if you are struggling or need support and we will be glad to help you through this season and facilitate happiness, joy, and peace for you, your child, and your birthmom.