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baby born at adoption competent hospital

Yes, We DO Need Adoption-Competent Hospital Birthing Centers

Hospitals continually strive to improve so many aspects of patient care. What improvements are being made in the way we “do” adoption at the hospital?

Pioneered in Colorado at Parker Adventist Hospital, the Family to Family Support Network is going national in helping families create child-centered open adoptions from the very beginning, through adoption training in hospital labor and delivery wards.
is your hospital adoption competent?
Here is an interview with founder Rebecca Vahle on why she’s made it her mission* that more and more hospitals serve EVERYONE involved in a possible adoption situation more effectively.

Continue reading why this program is necessary for nurses, for adopting parents, for women and men in unplanned pregnancies, for babies, and for hospital administrators and stakeholders — and what you can do to bring it to your local hospital.

* I am so stoked about Family to Family’s mission that I have recently joined its board of directors.

baby born at adoption competent hospital

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

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4 Responses

  1. Hey Lori,

    I think what is happening is good in many ways, removing the chance for inhumane treatment by hospital staff. Other ways I have questions and I hope they are taken in the spirit intended because I like Rebecca…

    The supposition that because it’s a hospital there is no bias or skin in the game is belied by the fact that Rebecca is an adoptive parent, I can’t remove my bias as an adoptee. How is that natural bias mitigated or protected against?

    The finger prints (mother and child) and the ability to write a note in the child’s life book – does that happen before, or after, the papers are signed? If before, is that just one more reason to follow through, added onto having the prospective adoptive parents at the birth, the proverbial severing the link to the mother by cutting the cord? To me, it’s adding another layer of it’s a done deal, which is problematic with the potential to sway (for lack of a better word) a mother, who, in reality, needs more time to make a true decision that is not clouded by being awash with hormones, emotions, exhaustion, fear.

    What happens when the mother decides to parent? That isn’t mentioned whatsoever, almost, as if, with this new adoption friendly hospital experience, it doesn’t happen.

  2. TAO, I totally understand your concern regarding my “adoptive mom-ness” and how that can make it look like I have a bias towards, I would assume, adoptive parents. Over the years as the Adoption Liaison at one hospital I’ve seen both up close and from afar that adoptive families must sometimes navigate difficult waters. In fact, this program is put into hospitals in order to bring reality to the “fairy tale” expectation people have around adoption. I have seen their loss first hand. I have witnessed birth parents and adoptees grieving and have grieved alongside them. I don’t take lightly the impact (not a strong enough word) that adoption has had on all the families involved. We live it and I see others living it.

    I went into adoptive parenting with a lack of understanding. And THAT drives my passion for education, my passion for being sure that moms have resources available to them so that they are making an educated decision (as educated as possible) knowing all their options and resources. In the Family to Family program we have had very few women change their minds late in the game because they are getting resources as soon as they come in. Consequently, by the time of relinquishment, they do not feel cornered (that’s the feedback we get) because they’ve been supported in parenting if that’s what they want to do. Nevertheless, as the patient, she is in the drivers seat of her care, and if/when she might change her mind — any time until relinquishment — we help her put her desired plan in place.

    When the article talks about helping solve temporary problems to avoid a life-long decision of adoption — it is true. One thing we have learned is that helping a mom find resources is hard….maddening really. This Saturday’s Adoption Perspectives radio show is on this topic specifically. I would value your opinion of the thoughts shared on that show. (Sept 12 11MST on It will be archived on our site next week.)

    As far as the Forever Fingerprints Book – you make a great point, and yes, the “as early as 4-business days post-delivery” for signing of papers is early! Again, the response for our Moms and the keepsake for all parties has been positive. Perhaps we send that with them to do after signing? Or return to do it? At a minimum, though, we want to make sure that the baby will forever have at least this point of contact with his/her birth mom. As we’ve seen, it often ends up being incredibly significant.

    1. Thanks Rebecca for responding and taking the comment in the spirit intended. So Colorado has a 4 day MINIMUM before they can sign, that’s far better than other states. Much better than any time after birth, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, even 72 hours can be so early…

      I hope Colorado doesn’t try to change it to shorter even though I’m sure some would be fine, it should a timeline to protect those who need it, not those who don’t…

      It’d be interesting if your program is old enough to reach out and find out from a hindsight prospective – what they feel now, things that could be done better – if you could contact enough to make it valid.

      Thanks for responding…final note, have you ever heard of an adoption doula?

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