When you set out to adopt a child, you do so knowing that there will be many moving parts to make this happen. From the home study to the hospital, adoption is a long journey. Because of this, adoption can seem overwhelming at times with all the small details that go into it.
That said, you may have heard the term “Cradle Care” when researching adoption. With so many terms in the adoption world, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Here at Adoption Choices of Nevada, our goal is to make this process as uncomplicated as we can. That begins with keeping you informed. Let’s go over what Cradle Care is, and how it affects the adoption process.
What is Cradle Care?
Cradle Care, or “interim/transitional care” as it’s also known, is be defined as “short-term foster care provided by qualified, loving families that have been approved to care for infants whose adoption plans are still being finalized.” Those chosen to care for your baby are called “Cradle Care families.” They are licensed by both the county and the state, and extensively vetted extensively. Before approval, they must go through the home study process. Once they pass, Cradle Care families go through comprehensive newborn training to prepare them for the care of such young infants.
At Adoption Choices of Nevada, we want to ensure the best care for your baby. We take the time to individually interview every family and tour their homes to ensure that they meet the standards of our company. We also inform them of their unique responsibilities as a Cradle Care family for Adoption Choices. Their placements may differ from those through the Department of Child and Family Services and we want to be sure that they are prepared. Cradle Care families are compensated at the expense of the adoptive family. Contact your caseworker to find out the cost of interim care for your baby.
These special families take care of infants when they are at their most vulnerable time, typically the first few days after birth up to a few weeks. They are responsible for meeting the needs of these new and fragile infants while their placement is being arranged. On top of providing basic care, like feedings and comfort, they promote normal development and attachment, document milestones and keep track of their day-to-day observations. They take pictures for the child’s parents and provide updates on the baby’s well-being. Along with all of that, Cradle Care families are responsible for taking the baby to any doctor’s appointments, checking up with social workers, and coordinating visits for both birth and adoptive parents. For the brief time the baby is in their care, they are treated as part of their family.
While in Cradle Care, adoptive and birth parents are both welcomed and encouraged to visit the baby, either at the family’s home or at a neutral location (such as our offices in Reno and Las Vegas). The adoptive parents must be accompanied by their caseworker when visiting the baby for mediation and protection purposes. Your caseworker will be prepared for this situation, and you can ask them more in depth questions about how and when to schedule visitation time.
When is Cradle Care necessary?
Cradle Care is necessary in a variety of situations. In Nevada, birth mothers are not allowed to relinquish rights until 72 hours after discharge from the hospital, which means adoptive parents are unable to take the baby into their care right away. With Adoption Choices of Nevada, we provide a Cradle Care family to look after the baby during that 72-hour window. This service allows the birth family to not stress about caring for the baby outside of the hospital. And for adoptive families, it is a reassurance to know their baby is well taken care of and if, for some reason, the adoption were not to go through, the baby would not be taken directly from their arms.
Likewise, if a baby is put up for adoption at the hospital at the last minute, a Cradle Care family will temporarily keep the baby until Adoption Choices can place the baby with a family. Though this is not as common, when it does happen, the baby will be in the care of the Cradle Care family for several days to a few weeks until a family is found. It must be noted that Cradle Care families are not able to adopt the babies that they foster, unlike other fostering programs. Cradle care is strictly temporary.
Cradle Care Families are Heroes
We can’t underestimate the role of Cradle Care families. As a parent, birth or adoptive, it can be scary to entrust your child’s care in the hands of another, especially at such a young and vulnerable age. But Cradle Care families are part of an essential support system that helps adoption come to fruition. They take in newborn babies and comfort and nurture them during a very sensitive time. They open their homes to adoptive parents and birth parents alike and offer them a safe space for their child.
Cradle care is just another one of the many moving parts of adoption. It is another step in the process. But it is one of the very last steps before taking your new baby home. Just like you appreciate your child’s birth mother for the role she played in growing your family, it is important to appreciate the family that takes care of your baby during an uncertain time.
Adoption Choices of Nevada
If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Nevada. You may visit the website here or contact us by 775-825-4673 (Reno Office) or 702-474-4673 (Las Vegas Office). Our hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm PST.
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
Devon Thornton is a graduate of the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing. She has recently moved from Orlando, FL to Clarksville, TN, and is pursuing her writing career with Adoption Choices and also writing personal essays in her free time. Devon is an avid reader and a big Harry Potter fan.
When she’s not curled up reading a book, you can find her somewhere on a hike or a camping trip. She loves her cat, Minerva, and considers herself a true animal lover. She hopes one day to publish a book of essays and to maybe meet J.K. Rowling.
Cohen, Megan. “Adoption Questions: Baby’s Discharge From Hospital.” Help With Adoption, 2 May 2019, helpwithadoption.com/adoption-questions-babys-discharge-hospital/.
Coppa, Christine. “9 Essential Things to Know About Volunteering to Be an Interim Caregiver.” Country Living, Country Living, 22 Feb. 2016, www.countryliving.com/life/kids-pets/news/a37705/things-you-need-to-know-if-you-want-to-be-a-volunteer-interim-caregiver/.
“Cradle Care.” Cradle Care Services | Adoption Options Colorado, adoption-options.com/unplanned-pregnancy/cradle-care.
“Provide Foster Care for Newborns at Adoptions Together.” Adoptions Together, 9 Jan. 2019, www.adoptionstogether.org/blog/2017/05/04/become-interim-care-provider-adoptions-together/.