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Birthmothers' hospital experiences

I am wondering if any of you can tell me whether you were treated with dignity by the hospital staff during your birth experience, or if you feel that your rights were not respected. What could have been done differently? Do you have any suggestions for how labor and delivery units can respect the wishes of their patients who are considering adoption? I'm asking because I'm close to finishing my degree, and I will very likely end up in this field. If I can somehow influence a L&D department to better respect women's rights, I will use the information you give me to do so. Please feel free to use the anonymous button. It may be helpful to know approximately how long ago your birth and hospital experience took place.


Asked by Iamgr8teful at 12:17 AM on May. 25, 2009 in Adoption

Level 25 (23,279 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • My answer is short and simple: they need to treat people on a case by case basis by asking the woman questions and not acting like the big elephant in the room isnt there. the woman knows she is having a baby she is not keeping so the only way to know how she can be helped is to have a series of questions developed to understand how the experience can be made easier for her. some moms are ready to give up their baby and feel relieved and proud to be able to give that gift, while others are completely devestated, while some are even scared and alone and not sure how to feel. its about basic human kindness... nothing more or less.

    Answer by Bearsjen at 12:20 AM on May. 25, 2009

  • I didn't know I was going to relinquish custody for sure until I was in the delivery room. As soon as he was born, the escorted him from the room, as if it was something they were trying to hide. I am sure they did it out of respect, or so they thought, but after that, I felt I no longer existed. They had the baby. I was supposed to get a blood transfusion, but didn't because the nurses released me too soon. My doctor came back to check on me and was told that I had been discharged, so he called me at home. It was great up until the actual birth of my son. Then it became this huge...attempt at a cover up almost. Like it was something shameful. My delivery was 8/15/2001

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 12:31 AM on May. 25, 2009

  • I'm not a birth mom but am a Social Worker, an Adoptee and am searching for my birth mom. My feelings and research may help you.

    Currently there are many laws in this country that limit the rights of the Adoptee based on the outdated stigmas of the infertility of (some) adoptive parents, out of wedlock birth and adoption in-general. Such laws, in over 40 states, seal the birth records of the adoptees and IF they allow you access to them, most are censored. I think the law upholds the outdated stigma that any circumstance surrounding the birth of a child that will be surrendered for adoption is shameful and must be swept under the rug. Since the earliest records a child has in this process begin at the hospital, is it any wonder that the hospital staff might be bound to the same stigmas that the laws uphold? I thank God for the doctor or nurse that can overcome the stigmas that we NEED to get rid of.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 1:12 AM on May. 25, 2009

  • I agree that the birthing and adoption experience for a birth mother should be much better and admire your passion as it is a passion of mine as well.

    The change must start with the American people. We must demand equal treatment for Adoptees as far as the law goes as well as do what we can to eliminate the stigmas attached to these situations so that birth mothers aren't made to feel shameful or that their stories and the stories of their children need to be swept under the rug.

    The change in attitude, laws and elimination of the stigma can help us focus on patient-specific care, ESPECIALLY in instances like this. I think staff should be specially trained to be sensitive to a mother in this situation and have interview paperwork specially tailored so that the birth mother's needs and wishes are met. Instead of shame and inconsideration, birth mothers should be applauded for their selflessness.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 1:15 AM on May. 25, 2009

  • I can share a few things from the adoptive parent side of how my children's birthparents were treated.
    L was told by the whom who filled out the birth certificate that she should not be placing her baby for adoption. She was also told that she had to keep the baby in her room even though she had a c-section with a spinal and couldn't get out of bed for 10 more hours. The nurses told her that she should ask me to spend the night in the room with her. It was not the kind of relationship we had and she did not want to spend alot of time with the baby.
    When we were in the little room with our daughter while T was being transferred rooms, T came looking for us. The nurses did not want to tell her where we were because usually the adoptive parents like to spend time with the baby themselves. Luckily, we were walking out the door to find her at the same time.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:15 PM on May. 25, 2009

  • I had a similar experience to the annon above.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:05 AM on May. 26, 2009

  • She was born via emergency c-section and as they were stitching me up, she was whisked out of the room. I was doped up out of my mind and it was later in the evening when I began demanding to see her. My family had finally arrived and then there was more arguing because my family did not want my older daughter there while baby was there. They felt it was best that I "act like the baby never happened". I was in no shape to fight and ended up having to rotate the girls just to be able to see them. But neither got to see each other. The nurses and doctors were great, I will add, in spite of the fact that they took her to the a-parents right away. They did fight with my family as well about allowing the girls to see each other before they parted. But my fam took my older daughter downstairs to the lobby whenever baby was coming to my room. Still pisses me off to this day. My older daughter has only seen baby sis in pics

    Answer by randi1978 at 12:59 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • Thank you for all of the responses so far. I was shocked to read some of them, even though I knew those things happened. The one that shocked me the most was Mom1Stepmom1 who needed a blood transfusion and never got one.

    I think policies need to be put in place to ask women in labor (or preferably sooner) what they want and who should be allowed in the room. It should be what she wants. There is no excuse for taking the baby right to the aparents if that is not what she has requested. Also, denying a mother the right to see and hold her baby is inexcusable. I know they did that with my friend in 1986, but didn't know if it still goes on today.

    Answer by Iamgr8teful at 1:59 PM on May. 27, 2009

  • It seems to fall on both ends of the spectrum. Many hospitals will still refuse to acknowledge the adoptive parents, or will treat them poorly. We had a pleasant experience for the most part with my 2 year old, though. I was able to go with him to the nursery, and they offered us a room to spend the night so we could stay as well. Our birthmom had him in her room much of the time, and we had him the rest of the time. My only complaint was that several times when she sent him back tot he nursery, they didn't tell us and he would sit in the nursery rather than being with us. They were supposed to alternate rooms. They seemed to forget about us most of the time. But she was treated well and I was happy about that.

    Answer by adoptionsc at 9:41 AM on May. 28, 2009