COVID-19 – How Will it Affect My Adoption?
Travel Is Now a Major Consideration
Families are getting creative with travel plans during the adoption process. Many pre-adoptive parents aren’t comfortable flying or staying in hotels. We are seeing a new trend in that many hopeful adoptive parents are choosing to rent an RV during the finalization process. The flexibility with dates, combined with not having to worry about the cleanliness of airplanes, hotels, or restaurants, make this a great option. The adoptive parents rent the RV, sanitize it, and drive it to the location from which they are adopting. They’re able to cook for themselves and travel back home with their baby without worrying about where to use the restroom or stop for food. It’s an innovative and cost-effective solution that may continue even once the pandemic passes.
Hospital Visits Look a Little Different
Doctor appointments and hospital visits for adoptive parents and birth mothers may be affected. Typically doctors offices are not allowing anyone to accompany the birth mother for appointments. Hospitals are also implementing visitor restrictions during the labor and delivery process. The restrictions vary by hospital but given the risk adoptive parents are generally not allowed to be present during the birth of the child or one parent at a time may visit the birth mother and baby. The personal interactions in the hospital are much more limited, but we have found that hospitals are doing their best to accommodate the birth mother and adoptive parents during the process while keeping everyone safe.
One of the biggest changes adoptive parents can expect are virtual, rather than in-person, meetings. During the match process, we do our best to set-up an initial meeting place where everyone feels comfortable. For example, in a park or at a restaurant with a patio. However, that may not always be possible due to the pandemic. The relationship between the expectant mother and the hopeful adoptive parents sometimes develops virtually rather than in person which is not that big of a change, as many hopeful adoptive parents match with potential birth parents who live in a different state. As a result, after the initial meeting, much of their relationship is developed through phone calls, text, Zoom, Skype or Facetime calls. all parties involved can work to develop as personal of a relationship as they would like to have, even if in-person meetings cannot occur.
Virtual Adoption Finalizations
Traditionally, adoption finalizations are held in a courtroom, but due to the pandemic that has somewhat changed the way a finalization is held for the moment. Currently, some Benton County and all Washington County judges require virtual adoption finalizations. The court typically uses Zoom video conferencing and the process is very similar to an in-person finalization. As always, our team is here to answer any questions you may have concerning your virtual finalization and ensure this last step in your journey is a perfect one, even if it isn’t at the courthouse.
We are Here for You
The Adoption Agency of Arkansas is an adaptive firm capable of helping you understand how your specific situation may be impacted by COVID-19 and working with you diligently through the process. For more information about COVID-19 and the adoption process please contact us and an Adoption Attorney or Specialist will be happy to discuss your questions or concerns.