In most cases, the birth mother will be in the hospital from one to three days. During this time, she may want to spend time with the baby. The amount of contact a birth mother wants with the child varies considerably. Some want no contact at all, because they know they cannot handle the emotions involved. They may be afraid that if they hold the baby they will change their minds, and they want to prevent that from happening.
Other birth mothers want time with the baby, and it does not affect their decision. For many, it is a necessary emotional step in parting and in grieving. For others, it is simply part of the process of making the placement. Usually the birth mother will welcome the adoptive parents into her room and they will participate in the process which she is going through.
The important thing for adoptive parents to understand is that the birth mother is the one who decides how much contact she will have. The hospital will honor any request she makes to have the baby with her consistent with the health needs of the child. The adoptive parents need simply be sensitive and compassionate. These times usually go very smoothly.
The birth mother may be released from the hospital before the child. If so, the hospital will look to the adoptive parents for medical decisions after the birth mother has left. A Voluntary Transfer of Custody and Medical Authorization form should be prepared by the attorney and signed by the birth mother before she leaves the hospital.
When the baby is discharged, the adoptive parents will take the child home with them, just as if they were the biological parents.