Historically, statistics associated with pregnant women in prison haven’t been accurately tracked. There are no current mandatory standards for prenatal or pregnancy care for incarcerated mothers-to-be, which needs to change. Because, believe it or not, being a pregnant woman in prison isn’t uncommon. If you find yourself in this situation, you may be wondering what will happen to you and your baby during your pregnancy. Without access to prenatal or pregnancy care, what are your options?
Whether you are serving a short or long sentence, the state may assume custody after birth through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) if a family or friend isn’t available for a temporary placement. However, it’s important to remember that adoption is still an option for any and all pregnancies you may experience during your incarceration. The adoption process itself may be more challenging from prison, and state laws may differ depending on your location, but there are various resources available to help.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is one such resource and is here to assist in any way we can. We are a nonprofit, full-service adoption agency ready and willing to support you as you create an adoption plan. We provide a no pressure environment and will discuss your options of parenting versus adoption. Should you choose adoption, you will be assigned a Birth Parent Counselor to walk with you through the pregnancy, birth and placement.
How does a Prison Adoption work?
Because you are a pregnant woman in prison, your adoption journey will differ from a woman who is not. The details of the adoption process itself stays largely the same. You will be able to select an adoptive family for your baby, receive financial assistance for any and all pregnancy-related expenses and share contact with your baby’s adoptive family. In addition, you are subject to certain birth mother rights.
The biggest difference will be when you create your adoption plan. As you are pregnant and incarcerated, you will need to adhere to your prison’s policies and individual situation.
How do I Choose an Adoption Professional from Prison?
If you know that adoption is the right choice for you and your baby before you are scheduled to check into prison, get into contact with adoption professionals prior to that date. However, if you are unable to do this, or discover that you are pregnant after your sentence has started, it might be challenging to research and contact potential agencies.
But don’t despair. Become your own advocate. See if you can enlist a family member or friend to help you. Talk to your prison caseworker. Ask if there are adoption professionals or agencies that they commonly work with and request referrals to those locations. Know, though, the decision of who you work with is entirely up to you. No one can force you to choose. You have control and need to be comfortable with the agency you entrust to support you in your adoption journey.
How do I Find an Adoptive Family while in Prison?
Even though you are a pregnant woman in prison, you are still able to select the adoptive family for your baby. Once you have become connected with Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, one of our social workers will work with your prison caseworker and provide you with adoptive family profile books. Through these, you will be able to learn details about prospective adoptive parents who fit within the requirements listed in your adoption plan.
Your prison caseworker will discuss your options regarding the available levels of openness with your adoption and make sure you understand what each entails. The adoptive family you choose will cover the cost of any and all phone calls made to contact them, as well as postage and stationery purchased to mail them letters and pictures.
How do I Give Birth in Prison?
When it comes to giving birth as a pregnant woman in prison, you and your prison casework will create a hospital plan that details how the labor and delivery of your baby will go. You will most likely be transported to a nearby hospital and kept under close watch by a security professional. Depending on the agreement you made with the adoptive family, you may or may not have contact with them at the hospital. Your individual situation will determine whether or not you can meet the adoptive parents post delivery.
After the birth of your baby, you will be allowed 48 hours to recover with him or her in the hospital. Your adoption lawyer will visit you during this time and make sure you understand your legal rights, then help you sign the paperwork relinquishing your parental rights. Any other paperwork required by the adoption agency will have already been completed while you were incarcerated.
Pregnant Woman in Prison
Adoption is a legal option no matter what your circumstance. If you are a pregnant woman in prison and want a loving adoptive family to accept your baby as their own, this is entirely possible. With the help of your prison caseworker and the adoption professionals at Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, you can be assured that you will receive the necessary prenatal and medical care you deserve, and that your baby will get his or her best chance at life.
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma
Adoption Choices of Oklahoma is a private adoption agency, licensed by the state of Oklahoma and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive families in Oklahoma for over 19 years. Our staff members are committed to providing an ethical, empowering, and personalized adoption experience to all involved in the adoption process. If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and a book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
“Can You Choose Adoption If You’re Pregnant in Jail?” Considering Adoption, consideringadoption.com/pregnant/is-adoption-right-for-you/is-adoption-an-option/can-you-choose-adoption-if-youre-pregnant-in-jail.
“How to Make an Adoption Plan in Prison.” Considering Adoption, adoption-for-my-baby.com/how-to/adoption-by-circumstances/how-to-make-an-adoption-plan-in-prison/.