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2 Months in NICU–Should a Birth Mother Bond Before Adoption?

Talisha is small, very young, and incredibly strong.

Her baby is small, born prematurely, and incredibly strong.

Talisha and her baby are bonded.

Bonded genetically.

Bonded by seven months of pregnancy.

Bonded by two months of hospital visits.

That bond will never be broken.

After bravely delivering the child two months early, Talisha was released from the hospital. She returned and quietly slipped into the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). While there, the nurses tenderly placed the 3-pound 15-ounce baby into the teenager’s arms. Talisha gently rocked the tiny child, memorizing the petite face.

The nurses mentioned several times how loving Talisha was and, if she was really planning to place this child for adoption, should the adoption agency be encouraging this type of bonding?

“Yes. We should,” was our response. 

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

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

When the infant finally gained enough weight to be released from the hospital, Talisha was there. Talisha’s mother also held the tiny infant. Then they placed the baby into the arms of the family who will raise her.

For several hours, the two families talked. They discussed how Talisha wanted her child raised. They discussed what part Talisha would play in the child’s future.

Talisha will always be bonded, and she will see her child regularly.

Just like she slipped into the NICU and watched her child grow, she will slip into her child’s life and watch her grow. But for Talisha, the best parenting plan was to place the child with a family she chose.

Talisha is small, very young, and incredibly brave.

(Names have been changed.)

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