How COVID-19 Affects Adoption in Missouri
In the COVID-19 pandemic, we are faced with so many confusing questions: What’s safe? What’s not? Where can I go? Can I see people in person? How do I stay healthy? If you’re unexpectedly pregnant, you’re dealing with a lot right now: On top of figuring out what’s best for you and your baby, you have to factor in pandemic safety precautions and the uncertainty of COVID-19. You may be wondering if adoption is still an option. It is! You can still safely place your baby for adoption during this pandemic.
Adoption Choices of Missouri is still open and offering full services during the pandemic. We are always here to help you through every step of your adoption journey.
Here are some answers to questions you might have about how COVID-19 affects adoption in Missouri:
Is the Adoption Process Still the Same?
Yes! You can still make an adoption plan just as you would have before COVID-19. You will still work with one of our adoption caseworkers, who will provide support and resources and answer any questions you have. You will still fill out paperwork, choose the type of adoption that works for your needs, browse prospective adoptive parent profiles and match with the family you want to adopt your baby.
The only difference is that all of this will happen online or over the phone. Even though our physical offices are closed right now, we are working remotely to make adoption possible for you.
Keep in mind there may be some delays since everyone must practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It might take a little longer to communicate with everyone involved in the adoption process. For example, families hoping to adopt must go through interviews and home studies, which are usually conducted in person. Because of COVID-19 safety measures, completing these protocols might be slower. But don’t worry; there are still many families waiting to open their homes and hearts to an adopted baby. We are working hard to make sure you connect safely with an adoptive family.
If I Want to Communicate with the Adoptive Family, is that Still Possible?
Absolutely! If you’ve chosen an open adoption, you can meet the adoptive family using ZOOM, Skype, FaceTime or other video chat apps. Your adoption caseworker can set up a virtual meeting or call for you.
Should I Postpone My Prenatal Doctor’s Appointments?
No. You should still see your doctor. Prenatal check-ups are important to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. Your doctor will give you advice about how to protect you and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy and during the pandemic.
It’s totally understandable if COVID-19 makes you nervous about going to the doctor’s office. Ask your healthcare provider what measures they’re taking to keep their patients safe during in-person visits. You may even be able to meet virtually with your doctor over the phone or video. Check with your doctor to see if they want to see you in person or if you can make a telehealth appointment instead.
I’d like the Adoptive Family to be with Me at My Prenatal Appointments. Who is allowed in the Doctor’s Office?
Different healthcare providers have different rules about visitors to keep everyone healthy and safe. Check with your healthcare provider to see if you’re allowed to have someone accompany you to your doctor’s appointments.
I’m about to Give Birth. What will My Hospital Experience be Like?
It is still safe to give birth at a hospital, where professionals can provide the best care. Your labor and delivery team will do everything they can to protect your health and your baby.
Before entering the hospital, you will be screened and/or tested for COVID-19. If you test positive or are suspected of having COVID-19, don’t worry. You will still be cared for, just in another part of the hospital in order to prevent the spread of disease.
Your labor plan should be the same as it would be normally pre-pandemic. Generally, COVID-19 should not change the preferred timing and method of your delivery. Check with your doctor to see if you need to make any modifications.
Your labor and delivery team will wear masks and other personal protective equipment. Ask your doctor about whether or not you should wear a mask during labor and delivery.
Can I have Visitors with Me when I Give Birth?
Ask your healthcare provider about their visitor policies for mothers in labor. You’ll likely be limited to one support person in the delivery room/maternity ward with you for the duration of your hospital stay. This visitor could be a family member, a friend, a member of the adoptive family, a doula, your adoption caseworker, etc.
Visitors will be screened for symptoms. They must wear a face covering and follow all other public health and hospital guidelines. Check with your hospital to figure out when visitors are allowed to visit and which hospital entrance they should use.
Ask your caseworker and healthcare provider about options to video chat so more people can be virtually present for the birth of your baby.
How Long will I Stay in the Hospital?
You’ll be discharged as soon as safely possible to minimize your time spent at the hospital. Returning home quickly protects your health and prevents exposure to COVID-19. Your care team will ensure that you are in good health and fully ready to be discharged before you are sent home.
The Family Adopting My Baby doesn’t Live Locally. How is COVID-19 affecting their Travel Plans?
These days, traveling is more complicated. Taking a flight, riding a bus or train or driving can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. If your adoptive family is traveling from out of town to meet your baby at the hospital, they will need to find a transportation solution that follows public health requirements for safe travel. Your hospital and your caseworker will ensure that your baby is safely delivered to the adoptive parents.
How COVID-19 Affects Adoption in Missouri: You can Still Choose Adoption
We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but our adoption agency is still operating and providing the same services and support for birth mothers. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to help you with your unplanned pregnancy and keep you healthy. COVID-19 may understandably cause some worries, frustrations, or difficulties as you go through the adoption process, but you can still safely choose to place your baby for adoption in a loving home.
Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at 1-816-527-9800
Meet the Author: Zoë Bowlus, a writing and editing enthusiast, considers herself a grammar groupie and suffers from a weakness for wordplay and working with words, whether she is reading, furiously typing away, playing Words with Friends, or filling in the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.
She was adopted from Vietnam as a baby and began exploring her adoptee identity in Asian American Studies and Communication courses at UC Santa Barbara. As she combed through adoption literature for her last essay of college (she graduated with highest honors in 2020), she was inspired to use the research, editing, and writing skills she developed in college and her personal experience to create resources and share stories about adoption in a professional context. Writing for Adoption Choices, Zoë hopes to support people on their adoption journeys and to grow as an adoptee herself.
Zoë is an aspiring cat lady who is allergic to cats. She enjoys curling up with homemade hot chocolate, kettle corn, and a good book but laments the absence of a feline reading companion. Her bedside table and bookshelves are overflowing with World War II historical fiction, Asian American and Mexico-U.S. borderlands fiction, contemporary fiction, grammar and style books, and collections of profiles. She spends an inordinate amount of time playing bridge.
An avid NBA fan, Zoë lives in Sacramento, the primary reason anyone would root for the Kings. She holds out hope that they will make it to the playoffs during her lifetime.