By Gayle Fidanzo, Executive Director of Choice Adoptions
Interestingly enough, this is one of the top queries being posed on Google Search and it fits right in with our discussion of Allyship. With the healthcare crisis, racial injustice, and possible economic collapse on the horizon, this is a legitimate question. In fact, many adoption agencies have not been able to withstand the pressures of this volatile time in America and have closed their doors.
But we know this for sure: Babies Don’t Wait.
And the thing is: We Don’t Quit.
We have been busier than ever at Choice Adoptions during this COVID season. But we’ve had to figure a few things out:
How DO you place a baby when the hospital is allowing only one support person per patient?
How DO you give the expectant parent all the love and support she needs after she walks through those hospital doors?
How DO you support families and even execute placement if the hospital does not allow the adoptive parents to come in and care for their baby?
I’m happy to report: Our amazing staff has figured it out. At the beginning of the stay-at-home order, we did a couple of placements in the parking lot of a hospital. But eventually most hospitals, observing the strictest of guidelines, acquiesced and let the very anxious but understanding pre-adoptive parents quarantine in a patient room with their baby. Four placements later, most hospitals will allow one of our staff to be present in the hospital to support and execute the legal part of the adoption process. Before COVID, our practice was to have two advocates doing a hospital placement (one for the birth parent(s) and one for the adoptive couple). but desperate times call for a bit of creative adaptation.
So, yes, we are happy to report that adoptions are still going full steam ahead. Since March, Choice Adoptions has placed five newborns with their new families, and we have successfully worked with five expectant couples to ensure that they were:
*Aware of all of their options
*Provided with education and support needed to make the best decision for them and their baby
*Supported throughout their pregnancy and beyond with relationship, financial help living and pregnancy related expenses, contact with their child for life, and a plan for their bright future.
Not only that, but we have placed two kiddos in adoptive families who were formerly in foster care, and completed dozens of home studies for families preparing to provide a permanent, loving home for children who need them.
So, YES, we are happy to report that adoptions ARE going forward. The needs of expectant parents and babies don’t change because of COVID or any other thing. And Choice Adoptions is here to be an ally for those who need our services. We are not going anywhere.