Birth Mother Bonds With Her Baby in the NICU–Is This Wise?

LaKisha is small, still in high school, and incredibly strong.

Her infant is small, premature, and incredibly strong.

LaKisha and her baby are bonded.

Bonded genetically.

Bonded by seven months of pregnancy.

Bonded by two months of hospital visits.

Those bonds are permanent.

After courageously giving birth two months early, LaKisha left the medical facility.

The next day, she returned and quietly slipped into the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit).

The nurses gently arranged the three-pound fifteen-ounce newborn into the adolescent’s arms. LaKisha tenderly rocked the diminutive child, committing the tiny face to memory.

The nurses frequently commented about how loving LaKisha was. The medical personnel also questioned how someone this loving, maternal, and caring could place a child for adoption.

Several individuals questioned our Heart to Heart Adoption representative about the wisdom of encouraging a birth mother to bond in this manner.

“Yes. We should,” was our response. “We should encourage a birth mother to bond.”

We also encouraged LaKisha to meet with a social worker to explore her options—options other than adoption. The social worker explained where LaKisha could go to get support to raise the baby. LaKisha and her mother listened carefully. LaKisha was bonded to this new little human being.

The child had been conceived in a stressful and traumatic situation. The problematic past didn’t change the fact that LaKisha wanted to remain a part of the little girl’s life.

The adoptive mother, LaKisha, and LaKisha’s mother were together when the infant finally gained enough weight to be released from the hospital.

The parents went to lunch together. For the next few hours, the newly formed families talked. They reviewed how this tiny infant would be raised. They discussed what part LaKisha would play in the child’s future.

Just like she slipped into the NICU and carefully followed her child’s progress, LaKisha will slip into her child’s life and follow her child’s progress through an open adoption.

For LaKisha, the best parenting plan was to place the child with a family she chose.

LaKisha is small, still in high school, and incredibly strong.

(Names have been changed.)