Open adoption and breast milk donation are grounded in parents’ generosity and love for children.
“Should I breastfeed my baby in the hospital?” a birth mother sometimes asks me when she begins formulating her plan with adoptive parents for her baby’s care in the hospital following birth.
Although the offer is generous, I recommend against a birth mother’s breastfeeding because the physical bonding formed while nursing amplifies the emotional pain of parting when she places her baby with adoptive parents. Time spent with a baby following birth is often precious, and always emotional, for birth parents as they prepare to transfer custody of their child when they are discharged. Some birth mothers plan for adoptive parents to care for the baby by themselves in the hospital, but many choose to share infant care with adoptive parents. Compassion and respect are crucial to make the hospital stay and the adoption experience positive.
I recently appeared in court at an adoption finalization with adoptive parents who chose open adoption. Both the birth mother and birth father of their son spent time with the adoptive family before the baby’s birth, and all four grew very close. Sharing care for the infant at the hospital deepened their relationship.
The birth mother did not breastfeed the baby, but afterward, the adoptive parents obtained donated breast milk through http://milkshare.forumotion.com/, a milk sharing website. The website’s ground rules are: no payments can be made for the milk; recipients pay for shipping; responsible sharing requires testing to prevent transmitting disease.