Q. The courts are closed. Are adoptions still happening in NC?
A. Yes. Most counties in North Carolina are allowing filings at the courthouse, which means adoption files are being opened and processed. At A Child’s Hope, we filed three adoption petitions in March, placing the paperwork in designated boxes located at the courthouse to prevent attorneys and staff from going into the Clerk’s office.
Q. Will I be all alone at the hospital?
A. In North Carolina, we see hospitals allowing only the pregnant woman and ONE support person in the labor and delivery room. Also, during the COVID crisis, North Carolina hospitals are only allowing ONE of the adoptive parents to care for the child during hospitalization That parent needs to stay with the child throughout the hospitalization – they cannot come and go from the hospital.
For example: during the COVID crisis, there was a baby who was in the NICU for ten days after delivery. The hospital allowed the adoptive mother (pictured here) to stay in the NICU during that time. The adoptive father was able to see pictures through messaging but did not hold the baby until after discharge.
Q. Is there financial assistance for mothers during COVID-19?
A. Yes, we are offering more support. There are additional stressors on birth mothers due to unemployment and other critical logistics, such as fewer Uber drivers providing transportation services.
We can be flexible in how financial support is provided. We pay landlords directly, hotels by the week, and can even offer some housing expense reimbursement to your relatives if they take you in during your pregnancy.
When an Uber is not available, we are offering gas money/cards to reimburse friends or family members who provide transportation.
In addition, North Carolina law allows up to six weeks of support after delivery. So, we can help you get situated after you leave the hospital.
Q. When should I reach out to an agency about adoption for my baby?
A private adoption plan gives you choices about the family, as well as contact details between you, the family and the child as they grow.
The more notice an agency has, the more help we can give in terms of answering questions and making the process go smoothly. But, we will gladly work with you on an adoption plan at any time. We can quickly respond when childbirth is imminent, matching you with one of the nearly two dozen waiting families ready to bring a child into their home.
If you suspect that the Department of Social Services may get involved after your child is born because you are homeless or the baby may test positive for drugs, we encourage you to make your adoption plan as soon as possible, before delivery. Once DSS is involved, it is harder to make a private adoption plan and have choices regarding the family that cares for your child.
Q. Can I safely find and meet with the adopting parents?
A. Birth mothers traditionally locate an adoption agency or adoptive parent profiles through the internet. Fortunately, the internet is Coronavirus safe. All of our waiting families are listed on our website for birth parents to review. See the Family Profiles page.
At A Child’s Hope, we provide three ways for birth mothers to contact us. They call the pregnancy hotline at 877-890-4673, text Pregnant to 919-971-5663, or email email@example.com. The hotline operator then communicates with the birth mother and talks her through the process.
After the initial discussion, one of our seven adoption counselors spread throughout the state works with the mother. They communicate via phone, meet virtually, as well as arrange in-person meetings in open spaces such as parks or our sanitized agency offices. We ask that masks and gloves be worn, but we can meet.
We provide the same options to match meetings with adoptive parents. They can occur virtually or in-person practicing proper social distancing and wearing PPE.
Q: Ready to Learn More?
For guidance on better mental health during the pandemic, check out this article.