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Old 10-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #1
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Doula for adoptive/surrogate parents?

I'm doing doula training and met a gal in class who is carrying a baby for an adoptive couple. The embryo was donated, and an agency introduced/matched them all together.

I enjoyed talking with this surrogate mom and hearing about how she was processing the upcoming delivery and having the parents present. It got me thinking about the possibility of serving families like this as a doula and wondered if I might get insight here as I explore that possibility.

I have a close friend (also a doula) and could see us working well as a team to offer support for the birthing woman and to the adoptive parents during the delivery and postpartum adjustment period. One of us would focus on the birthing woman, and the other on helping the adoptive parents be involved and connected and supported during the emotional and powerful experience of seeing their child born and receiving that child for the first time.

Have any of you worked with a surrogate or adoption in this way? I'd be grateful to hear what your experiences of the delivery were like and what sort of support you either received - or would have liked to receive - during the delivery and postpartum.

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Old 10-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #2
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I think it is so specialized that you might have a hard time building a client base. It is a great idea though! I think birth moms are particularly underserved in this area.
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Old 10-07-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy13
I think it is so specialized that you might have a hard time building a client base. It is a great idea though! I think birth moms are particularly underserved in this area.
I would be serving traditional clients as well, but advertise services possibly with agencies?
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #4
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Personally, I would not have been interested in having a doula support us as we adopted our son. We already had social workers, attorneys, and nurses in and out of our room, that I just wanted to be alone with him and it would have felt like jut one more person to distract us. I liked having our social worker there because she's worked in adoption for years and years. I think you would need to spend a long time better understanding birthmoms and what they are going through as well as adoptive parents. Its such a unique and emotionally challenging experience, that if you were not highly knowledgable in the range of emotions everyone was experiencing it would be tough to truly be supportive and helpful.

I can see where maybe first time parents may benefit from the added help if they needed assistance with basic baby care and such. And there are definitely birthmoms who need support if they don't have family willing to support them with their adoption plan.

I don't want to squash your plan and extremely good intentions, I just think that if it's something you feel passionate about you would need to take a long time researching and training yourself in the world of adoption and all it's uniqueness.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:40 AM   #5
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Thank you for that perspective. I can see how having yet another presence in the room would feel distracting and invasive. At this point I'm still in a brainstorming stage of planning my practice, so these sorts of responses are helpful. :-) I'm not personally attached to my practice looking any certain way. My heart is actually to just be present for women in the way that they need and to support them in having the birth experience they want. For some women/families that might me continuous "in your face" hands-on support. For other families that will mean I stay hands off, hang around the edges and "hold the space" by minimizing unnecessary interruptions. And my heart is genuinely happy to serve in whatever capacity best supports the mama/family. I am curious to explore more non-traditional birthing families because I think they are under-served when it comes to professional compassionate labor support.

Thanks again for sharing your experience. :-)
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Old 10-08-2012, 01:33 PM   #6
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Re: Doula for adoptive/surrogate parents?

I have seen a doula that posts on East Idaho Craigslist sometimes that offers services for surrogate and birth moms.
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