The Covid-19 epidemic has created undesired circumstances for mothers during pregnancy and while giving birth. In current times, mothers are going to prenatal visits and giving birth to their newborns without the newborns’ fathers or family members present. Additionally, third parties may be unable to provide support to biological mothers during hardships of pregnancy. With all the complications surrounding exposure to Covid-19 in hospitals and healthcare facilities, many fundamental people in the child’s life may not be able to take part in preparing for the child’s arrival or welcoming the child into the world during birth. In cases of adoption, even the people who will become the child’s parents may not be involved in the critical stages leading up to and surrounding the birth of the child.
The process of adopting a child in North Carolina regularly includes a home study of the prospective adoptive parents, gaining the consent of the adoptee’s biological parents, and a seven day wait period for the biological parents to revoke consent to the adoption. This process is emotionally draining for both the biological parents and the prospective adoptive parents as they await the coming of the newborn. With these added obstacles to the adoptive parents’ involvement during the pregnancy of the child and during childbirth, parties may face additional vulnerabilities in an adoption during the times of Covid-19.
The state of North Carolina is attempting to reduce Covid-19 exposure in hospitals and healthcare facilities through restraints on healthcare services offered and limiting guests of patients. This creates difficulties for adoptive parents who may not accompany biological mothers to prenatal appointments to learn of the unborn child’s progress or be informed of any complications of pregnancy. Additionally, contact between adoptive parents and biological parents may be prohibited to reduce Covid-19 exposure, restricting adoptive parents from providing additional sources of comfort to biological parents through actions such as completing household chores to limit stress or checking in on the biological mother to ensure her good health and well-being.
As many of the hospitals in North Carolina are requiring mothers to give birth without anyone but healthcare professionals present, many adoptive parents are left out of the room when their child is being born. Further, adoptive parents may have a much longer wait to meet their child if the child is held in the hospital for an extended period of time after birth. This may cause some additional anguish for the adoptive parents who have already waited the length of the pregnancy to meet their children. Unfortunately, this wait period may intensify the stressfulness of the required seven day wait period when biological parents may revoke their consent to the adoption.
The added complications of Covid-19 may create more strain on parties to an adoption. Due to added stress in the adoption process from Covid-19 obstacles, it is important that biological parents and adoptive parents understand the legal process of an adoption and know their rights from the beginning. If you wish to learn more about the adoption process and any prospective obstacles to your adoption, please call the knowledgeable attorneys at Miller Bowles Cushing, PLLC to ensure you are taking the proper legal steps to complete your adoption or to protect your rights as a biological parent.