A Question for Birthmothers: Nurses and the Hospital During Relinquishment

online information about adoption

Your Experience Can Help Make a Difference for Others

In 2013, I was happy to “meet” Rebecca Valhe and learn about the work she is doing.  Rather than repeat myself, I’ll just refer to the previous posts so you can catch up:

That was the beginning of pretty much a continuous conversation between Rebecca and myself over the years regarding ethics and best practices in adoption.  Sometimes it’s a totally “pie in the sky” conversation about what we WISH would happen, sometimes it’s a much needed vent on a an injustice practice or situation, but in the end; we are on the same page – agreeing on the direction things need to go.

Training Hospitals About the Unique Needs to Mothers Considering Adoption

Since then, Rebecca has taken the hospital training model one step further and has branched out with the hospital training model:

“Expanding the Family to Family Support Network and training healthcare professionals will create an infrastructure of support that will ultimately benefit the child and the mother.   We empower with education, with the sole intent to provide expert medical care and support, to better the outcome for all involved, both physically and emotionally.”

I really do love the idea of having the hospital staff become advocates for a mother during childbirth and having a better understanding of adoption. This is more than some sort of “birthmother sensitivity” training where talk is about “honoring her decisions” but making sure that the hospital staff can be mother centered support that is NOT coming from an adoption agency or even her family or an adoptive family. They CAN be the last neutral checkpoint and perhaps the final person who is really looking out for a mother’s needs. After all, the MOTHER and child are the patients.

Got a Hospital “Horror Story” to Share?

Anyway, Rebecca is looking for examples of experiences where a hospital nurse directly interacted  with a mom and in some way pushed her unwanted opinion on adoption. Whether or not this opinion resulted in a changed outcome isn’t as important as what was said, how it was said and how it made you feel. These stories  WILL be used in various capacities whether “blurbs ” on the website or in future trainings, so  please keep that in mind when writing. Personal details aren’t needed, however there is a place where you can opt in if you are open to being contacted with further questions, etc. That part is completely up to you.  The idea being that the need for change will be supported by what you say. They will be examples of how important and influential the input of hospital nurses are on the adoption experience.

So before I link you to the handy dandy form, I just want to say; that IF you do have something to share, please do consider taking a few minutes to do so. While I know it is hard to have bits of your story out there in an unknown way for public consumption, the value of speaking truthfully cannot be measured. In some ways, the reasons why the public always believes they false mythology of adoption is because we do not speak out enough, therefore they believe what they are told from others due to our collective silence. We have given away our voices and it is time to take back our own narrative.

Unlike the previous Infant Adoption Awareness Training that was created to get more babies into adoption, this time, we are being asked for our point of view.

About These Questions:

Only some of the fields are mandatory. The rest of the questions are more like open ended prompts to think about your experience. You are not obligated to fill them all out, but you can if you wish.  And you can be completely anonymous. This is not a scientific or at all research based questions, but again, to find the stories where a better prepare, educated and sensitive hospital staff could have served YOUR needs better.

That’s it! You are done and I thank you!

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About the Author

Musings of the Lame was started in 2005 primarily as a simple blog recording the feelings of a birthmother as she struggled to understand how the act of relinquishing her first newborn so to adoption in 1987 continued to be a major force in her life. Built from the knowledge gained in the adoption community, it records the search for her son and the adoption reunion as it happened. Since then, it has grown as an adoption forum encompassing the complexity of the adoption industry, the fight to free her sons adoption records and the need for Adoptee Rights, and a growing community of other birthmothers, adoptive parents and adopted persons who are able to see that so much what we want to believe about adoption is wrong.

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