This Mom Has Taken Care Of 25 Babies While Their Parents Make Important Decisions

"We had a baby stay with us once for four days and we had a baby stay with us for nine weeks."

Ann Lapin has three children of her own, but she's taken care of 25 newborns as an interim parent. Lapin takes care of newborns temporarily to give their biological parents time and space to work out difficult decisions about the future of their families. 

For example, a birth mom set on giving her baby up for adoption may have second thoughts after delivery and may want to think it over. Some single parents may want time to explore their options. Some may be unsure about their ability to parent. Or perhaps didn't even know they were expecting to begin with.  

Spence-Chapin, a nonprofit organization and adoption agency, has a program that places newborns in the temporary care of volunteers while their biological parents figure things out. Parents, who remain the legal guardians during the program, can visit their babies at any point if they'd like to. The organization also provides individualized support and counseling for them. 

"Parents who are adopting know that the baby is safe and the biological parents know their babies are in a certified home," Lapin explained in a 60 Second Doc video (below). Lapin has been an interim parent for over six years through Spence-Chapin. She has taken care of babies for anywhere from a few days to more than nine weeks. 

"Placing their newborn in Interim Care allows biological parents to continue counseling to fully explore their options while knowing their baby is being cared for by a nurturing caregiver in a loving home," Spence Chapin's website says. "Our Interim Care Providers play an essential role in the work of our organization. No job is more important than caring for and providing a safe, stable, and nurturing environment for a child as his or her biological parents make a plan for the child's future."

Lapin says the program has helped her family too. Her own kids help to take care of the newborns and learn parenting skills at a young age. "They love it," Lapin told TODAY. "They change diapers. They hold the babies. They can multitask like any other parent."

She loves caring for the babies and helping their families. It gives her a sense of purpose. Still, she's finds it exciting when each baby goes home. "It's a remarkably unique program," Lapin says in the 60 Second Docs video. "I'm very fortunate to co-parent these babies."

Spence Chapin is currently in need of more volunteers. To find out more about becoming an interim caregiver, visit Spence-Chapin.org

Cover image via Echo Grid I Unsplash

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