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Childbirth / Pregnancy

Denver-area birthing center offers adoption training and support

Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker has debuted The Family to Family program, which provides education for its staff members so they can support patients and other people involved in adoption births.

From the website:

We believe in the love and caring of families who adopt children, and we believe in the generous hearts and enormous love of parents who decide it is best to place their baby for adoption. It is our goal to make sure that the experience for both families is sensitive and caring, combining expert medical care with the utmost compassion and sensitivity.

Rebecca Vahle, an adoptive mom to three, founded the program in 2005. She told NBC-affiliate KUSA, “The staff used to run away from these situations or tip toe around them because they didn’t quite know how to support. Now they dive in because they are confident in the training and know they can help make a good experience even in a really tough situation.”

All staff members at Parker Adventist’s BirthPlace attend the Infant Adoption Initiative Training and are kept up-to-date on the many facets of domestic infant adoption including open, semi-open and closed adoptions, options counseling and appropriate support for all parties involved in infant adoption.

Why is such a program helpful?

Kerri J. Smith, MSN, RNC, and Debbie Brandon, PhD, RN, state in the November/December 2008 issue of The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing that

An adoption plan may include an arrangement detailing visitors, medications, room assignments, infant feeding, and disposal of pictures, bracelets, hospital items, and security bracelet assignment . The attitudes of the healthcare provider can affect how much control the relinquishing mother has over the adoption process.

…Nurses who care for the birthmother need to assist in the resolution of grief, because surrendering the infant may prompt feelings of numbness, shock, and denial…Rather than conveying his or her own views about adoption, the nurse should listen to the birthmother in a compassionate manner.

…There are important nursing implications related to the birthfather, including the ability to cope with the adoption decision, legal rights, and issues of grief and loss.

…Nurses are essential healthcare professionals for helping adoptive parents learn about infant care and parenting…Nurses have a responsibility to provide professional, nonjudgmental, supportive care to all members of the adoption triad, but this requires adequate knowledge of the process of infant adoption.

In the Parker Adventist program, doctors, social workers and other hospital personnel who have contact with those involved in an adoption plan are provided this training, in addition to nursing staff.

For more information on this program contact Rebecca Vahle by email or at (720) 936-9021.

Image: Family to Family Support Program at Parker Adventist Hospital
Lori Holden
Author: Lori Holden

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  1. As an adoptive mother, I think this is AWESOME!!!

  2. Thanks, Rebecca! I do, too!

  3. Thank you for sharing.. This foster mama sends out high 5’s!!

  4. Thanks, Melissa! Rebecca and Parker Adventist certainly deserve those high 5s.

  5. This is FANTASTIC for adoptive families and birth mothers. I’ve had the opportunity to do birth photography for an adoption and the emotion was AMAZING ! Truly one of the highlights of my life to have the privilege to participate in something so moving !

  6. I bet that was quite an experience, Lori. Thanks for your comment 🙂

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