Birth mothers’ medical care in adoption can make a critical difference in women’s prenatal and hospital experience and the outcome for their children. I was thrilled to be invited to present a workshop this week about birth mothers’ medical care at The Cutting Edge 2016 Conference sponsored by the Institute for Women’s Health at Monmouth University Medical Center. Including compassionate birth mothers’ medical care (see my interview with a brave birth mother) on the agenda showed the faculty’s commitment to educating doctors and nurses about adoption.
Doctors and nurses providing a birth mother’s medical care should understand that she has these options:
- Informal placement with a relative
- Foster care
- Short-term interim care
- Safe haven, which is disfavored
- Adoption: agency, private, open
Doctors and nurses providing a birth mother’s medical care should understand that she has these rights:
- To understand all options, including adoption, foster care, and parenting.
- To be represented by an attorney at no cost to the patient to ensure that the adoption is safe and legal.
- To obtain medical care.
- To obtain counseling.
- To choose the adoptive family for her child.
- To interview and meet the adoptive parents.
- To obtain assistance with legal fees and living expenses, including rent, food, utilities, phone, and maternity clothes.
- To choose the level of openness in the adoption.
- To understand the rights of her child’s birth father to consent to the adoption or receive notice of the adoption.