Recently an expectant mother making an adoption plan asked me if she would be allowed to have the keepsake items from the hospital stay when her baby is born and I realized that this may be something other expectant mothers making adoption plans are wondering about too.
By keepsake items, I am referring to all the items from the hospital, like the little birth certificates with your baby’s footprints on it, hospital bracelet, the little hat, the hospital blanket, crib card, etc.
I’m sure older birthmothers from the closed adoption era were not allowed to have these items, but nowadays things are changing. You are allowed to have these items and it is YOUR choice then to decide if you want to share them with the adoptive parents. Nowadays, many hospitals will even make duplicate copies of the birth certificate with footprints if you ask them to.
A lot of birthmothers do keep these items. I did and they are all safe in my “Charlie box” which is full of various things related to Charlie and our adoption. I don’t look at these things often, as it brings up a lot of emotions and tears but knowing that I have them, knowing where they are, and knowing that I could look at them anytime I want to is comforting to me.
One last piece of advice regarding this subject, the hospital experience is such an emotional and overwhelming time, that it might be wise to ask someone you trust (like your support person) to make sure you leave with the keepsake items that you want.Photo Credit: Coley