Birth Mother Blog

Qualities Look for in an Adoption Attorney as a Birth Mother in Missouri

Qualities Look for in an Adoption Attorney as a Birth Mother in Missouri

By Zoë Bowlus

An adoption attorney is a professional who specializes in family law, specifically adoption. Because they are experts on the legal side of adoption, they are a great resource and advocate to have by your side as you progress on your adoption journey. When you work with us at Adoption Choices of Missouri, you are not required to have an adoption attorney in Missouri. We offer legal services to ensure your rights as a birth mother are protected, and any legal fees will be covered by our agency. However, if you are giving a child up for adoption in Missouri and wish to be represented by an adoption attorney, it is an option. 

Here are some qualities to look for in an adoption attorney as a birth mother

Important Qualifications and Aspects to Consider

To learn more about adoption attorneys and their qualifications, see if they have their own website or if they have a profile on their firm’s website. As you’re browsing, ask yourself the following questions and see if you can find the answers. If not, be sure to ask the adoption agency itself through a phone call or in-person visit.

  • Are They Licensed? 

Is the attorney licensed to practice family law in Missouri?

  • Are They Experienced? 

How long have they been practicing? Do they specialize in adoption law? Do they have experience with domestic infant and newborn adoption cases? 

You want to make sure that your attorney has experience working with birth mothers like you. For instance, did you match with an adoptive family that lives in another state? Are you a single birth mother? Have you chosen an open, semi-open or closed adoption? It’s helpful if an attorney has represented birth mothers in circumstances similar to yours. 

Check out the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (AAAA), which is a reputable professional organization of attorneys who specialize in adoption. For an attorney to be listed in the AAAA directory, they must have practiced law for at least five years and they must have worked on at least 50 adoptions. So, you can set your mind at ease, knowing that they are legitimate and experienced. 

  • Do They Get Great Reviews? 

Check out lawyer review sites, such as Yelp or Did people leave favorable comments? Does it seem like other clients had a good experience working with this attorney? 

It’s essential that an Adoption Attorney can be Trusted 

Making an adoption plan is a major life decision. If you want to bring an attorney on board your adoption team, you want to make sure they are respectful and caring. 

When it comes to whether you trust an adoption attorney, careful research is important, but remember to also trust your own instinct. Consider these questions when evaluating an adoption attorney: 

  • Do they seem trustworthy? 
  • Do they seem supportive, understanding and kind? 
  • Do you feel comfortable around them? Do you feel like you connect with them? 
  • Do you feel like they will honor your wishes and needs?
  • Do you feel confident that they will provide expert guidance?
  • Do you feel that they will do their best to help you? 
  • Does it seem like they will look out for you and protect your birth mother rights? 

Logistics and Communication

How can you communicate with your attorney (e.g. phone call, email, text, ZOOM appointments or in-person meetings)? If you’re going to meet in person, is their office conveniently located for you? 

Finding an Adoption Attorney 

If you have more questions about prospective adoption attorneys after researching, give them a call. Your adoption caseworker can also help you choose an adoption attorney. 

Remember that you don’t need an adoption attorney if you work with Adoption Choices of Missouri. But, if you’d like to add an advocate to your support network, be sure to consider these qualities to look for in an adoption attorney as a birth mother. You need and deserve a team of people who have your best interests at heart, so finding a knowledgeable adoption attorney you trust is important. 

Birth Mother Blog

The Top 5 Questions for Birth Mothers to Ask our Adoption Agency in Missouri

The Top 5 Questions for Birth Mothers to Ask our Adoption Agency in Missouri

By Sofia Becker

Adoption in Missouri can be a difficult road to navigate. If this is your first time looking into giving a child up for adoption, there are most certainly a ton of questions that you will probably have. Never fear! Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you with the questions to ask our adoption agency in Missouri

  1. I’m considering adoption for my baby. Why should I work with Adoption Choices of Missouri?

Our agency offers many great resources! These include court-approved birthing expenses such as financial assistance, medical care, temporary housing, and transportation. Once you are assigned an adoption caseworker, they will assess your circumstances and see what you qualify for. 

As a birth mother with our agency, you will also have access to our free, private, and confidential counseling services, which extend to the birth father and any other family members who are interested in speaking to someone as well. Throughout your adoption journey, you will be treated with the utmost respect by a team of compassionate, specialized adoption professionals. Our goal is to provide the most positive and empowering experience possible for you and your child. 

  1. How much does it cost to place my baby for adoption in Missouri?

Good news! If you choose to work with our agency, placing your baby for adoption comes at no cost to you. 

  1. What types of adoptions do you do?

We offer three different types of adoption: open, semi-open, and closed. Each of these has its own pros and cons, so be sure to consult with your adoption caseworker to learn more. They will happily answer all your questions and address any concerns you have regarding what each type entails.

Our agency encourages and specializes in open adoptions, as we believe that this particular type keeps the best interests of all the members in the adoption triad at heart. However, we understand that each and every birth mother is unique and has her own story. Thus, the other two options are available, so that you can customize your adoption journey to what’s best for you and your child. 

  1. Will I get to choose my child’s adoptive parents?

Yes! As a birth mother, you have full control over your adoption journey. Your adoption caseworker will help you create an adoption plan and give guidance whenever you need it. Selecting your child’s adoptive parents is part of this process. 

After you have determined what kind of life you’d like your child to have, and the level of openness you want with both your child and your child’s adoptive parents, your adoption caseworker will provide you with profile photo books, detailing information about who they are and what opportunities they can offer your son or daughter. 

  1. What happens after the adoption is finalized?

Depending on the adoption agreement you have made with your child’s adoptive parents, you can maintain contact with your child through virtual resources, such as ZOOM, FaceTime, or Skype, or you can meet in person. After getting to know your child’s adoptive parents, you can continue to build a strong and healthy relationship with them post-adoption.

In addition, you can still speak with one of our adoption counselors to help you healthfully grieve and move forward. Many birth mothers need some time right to process after the adoption has been finalized, and that’s completely natural. There’s no need for you to feel like you need to rush anything. You maintain control of your adoption journey and the right to do whatever you feel is best for you after leaving the hospital.

Questions to Ask our Adoption Agency

Choosing to place your baby for adoption can feel like a scary and overwhelming decision. But, it’s not one that you need to make alone. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help. As a trusted adoption agency in Missouri, we will do everything we can to ensure that you receive the encouragement, comfort, and support that you need and deserve. Ask us about getting started on your adoption journey today! 

Birth Mother Blog

6 Steps for Creating an Adoption Plan as a Birth Mother in Missouri

6 Steps for Creating an Adoption Plan as a Birth Mother in Missouri

By Samara Wiley

Have you discovered that you are pregnant unexpectedly? It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and lost. Unplanned pregnancies have a way of flipping life upside down. But don’t worry. You have options! What’s more, you are in control of your situation and can choose whatever you feel is best for both you and your baby. One of these options is placing your baby for adoption. Maybe right now you’re wondering, “What do I do if I’m considering adoption for my baby?” No doubt, you have a lot of questions about what giving a child up for adoption entails and how to begin. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help. From the moment you walk through our doors to after your child is born, we will be with you every step of the way. To begin, we recommend that you start with creating an adoption plan. If you aren’t sure what an adoption plan entails, keep reading. We have all the information you need to know about creating an adoption plan as a birth mother in Missouri.

Put simply, creating an adoption plan is forming an outline of what your adoption journey will look like. It details the arrangements and expectations you have and how/where you want to give birth. There is no right or wrong way to develop this. What matters is that it helps ease stress and anxiety by mapping out a path that feels best for you and your baby.

Steps for Creating Your Adoption Plan 

No matter how afraid, overwhelmed, or anxious you may feel — know that you have made the selfless decision to place your baby up for adoption. We understand that this wasn’t an easy choice to make, and we are here for you.

The best place to begin with your adoption plan is by figuring out the following steps:

  1. Speak to a Birth Parent Counselor

This can be done either over the phone or in person. Our highly-trained and compassionate adoption caseworkers will be more than happy to speak with you and walk you through your thoughts, emotions, and expectations. Once you’ve made contact with one of our Birth Parent Counselors, you will work with them throughout your adoption journey.  We are here to comfort and support you throughout your pregnancy and the adoption process.   

  1. Select Your Child’s Adoptive Family

What kind of family do you envision for your child? What are some preferences you have? Your adoption caseworker will discuss these with you and ask you questions to see what kind of life you’d like for your child. Again, there are no right or wrong ways to do this. Do you want your child to grow up around pets? With other siblings? In a diverse neighborhood? Are you open to a transracial couple, a single parent, or LGBT adoptive parent(s)? Selecting your child’s adoptive family is all about determining your personal preferences. 

  1. Determine how Open You want the Adoption to be

Do you want to get to know your child’s adoptive family? Do you want to have contact with your son or daughter as they grow up? If so, how much? Adoption plans have three different levels of openness to customize what you feel most comfortable with. You can choose from open, semi-open, or closed adoption. Each option has its own pros and cons, which can be discussed with your adoption caseworker.

  1. Customize Your Hospital Stay and Birth Plan

If you’ve never given birth before, this can feel like one of the scariest parts of your adoption journey. However, remember that you are not alone. Your adoption caseworker will help you design your hospital stay and birth plan, and address any concerns that you might have.

Some common concerns may include:
  • How long will I have with my child after he or she is born? Depending on the hospital, you may be given a few hours or a few days with just you and your child to be able to bond and share memories. This also depends on whether or not you’ve invited the adoptive parents to join in the hospital as well. 
  • Would the adoptive parents be in there in the room while you deliver? This is entirely up to you! Some birth mothers prefer that the adoptive parents are in the delivery room and get the opportunity to cut the umbilical cord. She knows that the birth is an important and special moment, and wants the adoptive parents to feel like they were included as much as possible. If you are comfortable with this — go for it! If not, that’s ok too. 
  • Taking pictures with your child or the adoptive parents? During your stay in the hospital, you may want some alone time with your baby before he or she leaves with their new adoptive family. Or, you may want additional time with your child and the adoptive parents together. Whatever you are comfortable with, do that. If this includes taking pictures with your child — just you and them, make sure you do that. If you want a group picture with your child’s adoptive family, be sure to get one. Your hospital stay is all about you and the time you will need to healthfully grieve and move forward afterward. 
What about when it’s time to say goodbye?

When the time comes to hand your child to their adoptive parents, you may decide not to see them off as I was too overwhelmed with emotion and decided to leave the next day. Make sure both the adoptive parents and your adoption caseworker know if you need any extra time before the adoptive parents leave the hospital with your child. Even if this wasn’t part of your original plan starting out, it’s natural for emotions to be heightened when you’re in the hospital and for things to change last minute. So, you’ll want to be prepared for that as much as you can.

  1. Fill Out the Original Birth Certificate

Before you are discharged, the hospital staff will have you fill out what’s known as an “Original Birth Certificate” (OBC). This is the official record that announces the birth of your child and lists you as the birth mother. If you have the birth father’s information and want to include that, you can. But there is no pressure with this piece. There is also a space for you to fill out any birth name you’d like to give your baby. This may change after the adoptive parents finalize the adoption in court, but if there’s a name that you’ve always wanted to give your child, you can. If not, that’s ok. The hospital staff will write “Baby Girl” or “Baby Boy” in that space.  

  1. Relinquishing Your Parental Rights 

This is your final step with your child being fully yours. While you will always be his or her birth mother, the moment you sign away your parental rights, you allow the adoptive parents to become your child’s legal parents. It’s important to set the terms of your adoption plan early on. Let the adoptive parents know how involved you want to be when establishing a relationship with them and your child. Create a plan for how you want to communicate with them and your child after the adoption has been finalized. For instance, if you may want to have yearly visits, daily or weekly video calls, then an open adoption agreement may be the best option. If you prefer a bit more distance, semi-open adoption may be what you’re looking for. 

In the state of Missouri, after the birth of your child, you have 48 hours before you have to sign away your parental rights. Some birth mothers choose to take this whole time with their children. Others do not. It’s entirely up to you, and what you need.

Why You Should Create a Plan as a Birth Mother

Being a birth mother and deciding on all aspects of your adoption journey will help you feel comfortable and ease your stress. It’s encouraging to know that you have carefully chosen the right kind of adoptive family and life that you want for your child. It also helps you establish a strong and healthy relationship with your child’s adoptive parents, depending on the level of openness you choose.

This is why it’s so great to create an adoption plan. To remind you that you are in control and that you are not alone. That everything will be ok. An important thing to remember is that you will always be a birth mother and get the respect and care that you deserve. 

Birth Mother Blog

A Birth Mother’s Guide to Creating a Hospital Birth Plan for Adoption in Missouri 

A Birth Mother’s Guide to Creating a Hospital Birth Plan for Adoption in Missouri 

By Zoë Bowlus

You’ve chosen adoption. Check. You’ve made an adoption plan. Check. You’ve matched with an adoptive family. Check. Stop for a second and congratulate yourself! You’ve already accomplished so much on your adoption journey. As your due date approaches, now it’s time to prepare for the birth of your baby by creating a hospital birth plan — a document that outlines your labor and delivery preferences for giving a child up for adoption in Missouri.

As the birth mother, you get to make decisions about what your hospital experience will be like. The sooner you start planning, the better. Figuring out the logistics will help your labor and delivery team, the adoptive family, your adoption caseworker and your support network make sure your hospital experience goes as smoothly as possible before, during, and after birth.

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, your adoption caseworker will provide you with information, guidance, and emotional support as you develop a hospital plan. Remember to consult your doctor about any labor and delivery questions you have. 

I’m considering adoption for my baby. What preferences should I consider to prepare?

Getting to the Hospital 

  • Transportation: Who will take you to the hospital? 
  • Hospital bag: Gather the items you’ll want to bring with you. Have your hospital bag packed and ready to go. 

Delivery Room Preferences

  • Visitors: Do you want anyone with you in the delivery room? A family member? The adoptive parent(s)? A friend? Your partner or spouse? Your doula? Your adoption caseworker? It’s entirely up to you, but it’s good to plan with your support network in advance. 

Be sure to check your hospital’s visitor guidelines. There may be restrictions due to COVID-19. You’ll likely be allowed one support person. 

  • Photos and Videos: Do you want the birth documented? Do you want photos or videos of you and/or your newborn? Do you want to take pictures of your baby? Would you like to video chat with friends or family during your hospital stay? Especially since the number of visitors allowed in the delivery room may be limited, think about creative ways to commemorate the birth and to share updates with friends and family digitally. Be sure to talk to your caseworker and check with your healthcare provider because different hospitals have different policies for taking photos and videos.  
  • Ambiance: Do you want your own music playing? Do you want the lights dim? 
  • Clothing: Do you want to wear your own clothes? If you wear contacts and are giving birth vaginally, decide whether you’d like to wear contacts or glasses. 


You can indicate whether you’d like to try a birthing ball, squatting bar or labor pool/tub, all of which can help you during labor. You can also choose which position(s) you’d like to be in during the pushing stage. Do you want to receive coaching when it’s time to push? 

  • Hydration: Do you want to drink clear liquids or do you want to receive fluids through an IV? 
  • Pain Management: Indicate which methods you’d like to use to manage any pain (e.g. breathing techniques, a bath or shower). Do you want hospital staff to ask you if you want pain medication? Or do you want to request it yourself? 


Consult with your doctor to discuss vaginal births versus C-sections. 

  • Vaginal Birth: Do you want to watch the birth using a mirror? Do you want your support person to help catch your baby? 
  • C-Section: Who do you want to hold the baby after the operation? 

You and Your Baby

  • After Birth: Do you want to see your baby after delivery? If so, you’ll want to consider how much time you want to spend with your newborn before the adoptive family brings your baby home. Do you want to spend time with your baby alone? 

Here are some other questions to consider: 

  • Do you want to be the first person to hold your baby? If so, do you want to hold your baby right away, or do you want the newborn procedures to be taken care of first? Do you want the newborn procedures to be performed in your presence? 
  • Who do you want to cut the umbilical cord? 
  • If your baby is a boy, do you want him circumcised? 

Naming Your Baby 

Do you want to name your baby? If so, the name you choose at the hospital will be on your baby’s Original Birth Certificate (if the adoptive family chooses a different name, the birth certificate will be updated on the Amended Birth Certificate when the adoption is finalized). If you’ve chosen an open adoption, you and the adoptive family can discuss the naming process. Maybe you’ll decide on a name together. For instance, you can have the first name and they can have the middle, or vice versa. Maybe you’re more comfortable if they choose a name. Maybe they’re happy with whatever name you choose. 

Going Home

What are your preferences for leaving the hospital? When you are discharged, do you want the adoptive parent(s) to accompany you? Do you want to leave the hospital on your own or with your chosen support person? 

Check with your hospital to see what their discharge policies are. According to Missouri law, you can officially consent to adoption up to 48 hours after birth. 

  • Mementos and Documents: Do you want to bring home any items from the hospital (e.g., baby blanket, baby footprints, baby bracelet, umbilical cord camp, copy of birth certificate)? Would you like the adoptive family to bring home any of these items with them? 
  • Transportation: Who will bring you home after you are discharged? 

A Flexible Plan Customized for You 

If you change your mind about any of the preferences you noted on your hospital plan, that’s totally okay. You can even make changes on the day you go into labor. Just talk with your adoption caseworker and let them know what you’d like to be different. Everyone wants you to feel comfortable during your hospital stay, so don’t be afraid to speak up about your preferences. 

Do remember, though, that even though you’ve carefully planned your hospital experience, babies are unpredictable. The hospital staff may have to make some changes to your hospital plan to keep you and your baby healthy. 

Creating an Adoption Hospital Plan: Getting Prepared for Giving Birth 

Giving birth is a major moment in your life. We want to make sure you have an adoption hospital plan in place so that you know what to expect and are ready to have your baby. It’s important to start thinking about your hospital plan now so that your adoption caseworker, your hospital staff, and the adoptive family are up to date on your labor and delivery preferences. 

We know there are a lot of decisions to make as you plan for your baby’s birth. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to help you figure out exactly what you want and what’s best (and safest and healthiest) for you and your baby. Remember to talk with your caseworker and your doctor about any questions and concerns you may have about labor and delivery. 

Armed with a detailed adoption hospital plan, you are one step further on your courageous adoption journey. 

Birth Mother Blog

4 Tips to Help Birth Mothers Select Adoptive Parents in Missouri

4 Tips to Help Birth Mothers Select Adoptive Parents in Missouri

By Sofia Becker

If you’re considering giving a child up for adoption, selecting adoptive parents in Missouri can seem a daunting task. It’s okay to feel terrified or cautious about this part of your journey of adoption in Missouri. Feeling overwhelmed is natural too. After all, you want what’s best for your child because you love them. You want him or her to be placed in a good home with a loving family. However, that doesn’t mean the decision-making process is going to be easy. There is a lot involved, and you may have many questions or concerns about it.

Don’t worry. Your adoption caseworker will be with you every step of the way. Any preferences or requests you have to help you select your child’s adoptive parents, let them know and they will do their best to find the right fit for you and your child. Be mindful that no adoptive family will be “perfect,” but it’s possible to find a couple or individual who will love, cherish and support your child with all their heart.

  1. Be Specific about What You’re Looking for

When selecting your child’s adoptive parents, you may have a lot of things you’re looking for. Create a written list before speaking with your caseworker to effectively narrow down the options most important to you. For instance, if you were raised in a religious home, and you’d like the same for your child, let your caseworker know. Or, if you prefer that he or she weren’t in a religious home, make a note of that too. Be as clear as you can from the beginning. It is important to find an adoptive family who lives the kind of life you want for your child. 

Another thing to specify is whether or not you want your child to grow up around other siblings, or be an only child. This in itself can make a world of difference. If you grew up as an only child and longed for other siblings, then it would be only natural for you to want something different for your child. Similarly, with other aspects of family life. Do you want your child’s adoptive family to have a cat or dog? Do you want them to live in a big city or a small town? There are many areas to consider.

  1. Get to Know the Adoptive Parents

An important piece of finding the best adoptive family is figuring out whether or not you want to have contact with them or your child after the adoption has been finalized. There are three different levels of openness to choose from — open, semi-open, and closed. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, which are essential to discuss and think about.

Our agency encourages open adoptions because we feel this type of adoption is in the best interest of everyone in the adoption triad. However, we understand that every birth mother has her motivations behind placing her baby for adoption and that she may choose a particular type for a specific reason. If you wish to get to know your child’s adoptive parents, look into the open and semi-open adoption agreements and see which one fits you the best. Getting to know your child’s adoptive parents can help ease your anxiety, give you much-needed comfort and ensure that your adoption journey runs more smoothly overall.

  1. Distance is Something to be Considered

If your child’s adoptive parents live in a different state, and you are thinking about open adoption, discuss how future visits would go and what they would look like. Living within driving distance when getting to know your child and their adoptive parents helps to build a solid relationship. However, this can’t always happen. As the adoptive parents what other options they would be comfortable with — phone, email, text, or through virtual programs such as ZOOM or FaceTime. Talk about how many times a week/month/year you can be in contact.

Having open communication, asking questions, and addressing concerns early on is key to establishing mutual respect and trust with each other. 

  1. It takes Time to Find the Right Adoptive Parents

There is no need to rush through your decision-making process. It takes time to get to know the right adoptive parents to raise your child. Your caseworker will provide you with profile photo books of potential adoptive parents. This will help you narrow down who you’d like to meet later on. If this takes you a little while, that’s ok. There is no pressure. Choosing your child’s adoptive parents isn’t something that can be taken lightly.

When you are ready to meet your potential choice, be sure to write down a list of questions. Talk with your adoption caseworker about what questions would and wouldn’t be best to ask. We want you to feel comfortable, secure, and confident in your choice.

Choosing Who Will Raise Your Child

In the end, it might be hard to find navigate, but Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you find the right way to select your child’s adoptive parents. There is a lot to consider in making decisions and seeing if this is something that you want to do. Thinking about what you want for your child takes time. In the end, though, it will all be worth it. 

Birth Mother Blog

8 Questions to Never Ask Birth Mothers Before or After Adoption in Missouri

8 Questions to Never Ask Birth Mothers Before or After Adoption

By Samara Wiley

As a birth mother, giving a child up for adoption in Missouri can be a hard but rewarding decision that will change your life forever. Choosing adoption will give your child the life he or she deserves. Through adoption, there will always be questions you will have to answer, whether from friends and family, the adoptive parents, or — eventually — your child. At the same time, though, there are questions that you should never be asked, and that you should never feel obligated to answer. Adoption Choices of Missouri has compiled a list of the top eight questions to never ask birth mothers before and after adoption through answers we’ve received from birth mothers themselves.   

  1. Why didn’t you keep your baby? 

Giving your baby up for adoption is a difficult life-changing decision that is not decided lightly. As a young birth mother, my circumstances did not allow me to be able to care for my child financially, so I made the selfless decision to choose adoption. This decision was hard but the right choice to give my child a better life. 

  1. How did the birth father react to adoption?  

He said he would go along with any decision that I made. Although he didn’t fully agree with my decision, he stood by it as we had been in a short-term relationship and this was an unplanned pregnancy. It was not the right time in our lives to be parents. We choose the option of open adoption to 

However, your child’s birth father may be different. He may be just as emotionally invested as you and help support the adoption process. Or, he could be the exact opposite. Maybe he’s not even in the picture. All birth fathers are unique and will react differently.

  1. Do you regret giving your baby up for adoption?

Absolutely not! Adoption may come with feelings of grief, but the selfless decision that you have made as a birth mother to give your child a better life will provide you some comfort in your decision. Placing my baby up for adoption through the guidance and understanding of Adoption Choices of Missouri was both comforting and encouraging.  They provided me with a Birth Parent Counselor who assisted me in every part of the adoption process. From helping me create my adoption plan to choosing my child’s adoptive family to the birth of my child. 

Because of my circumstances, the adoption agency was able to help me with financial assistance to cover my medical bills, housing costs, and other court-approved birth mother expenses. Having my caseworker and the other staff by my side every step of the way was a game changer.   

  1. Are you afraid your child will resent you? 

No! Because I have an open adoption agreement with my child’s adoptive parents, I know that they have a plan to tell him or her about me and how they came to be part of the adoptive parents’ family. My child will understand how much I loved them, and how difficult it was for me to make the decision I did. Someday, I will get to share my side of the story with them as well.

So, no, I’m not afraid my child will resent me. They may need time to process, and that’s ok. But, through open adoption, I will get to share precious moments in my child’s life — birthdays and holidays — that will allow them to see how much I love them, and that they have two sets of parents who cherish them. It will help them understand and feel less abandoned.

  1. Does your family support your decision? 

Yes. Although they didn’t fully understand, my family supported my decision to place my baby up for adoption. 

Having family support is important when you choose to move forward with adoption. It’s very affirming and comforting knowing that you have a strong support system to get you through both the good times and the bad. If you do not have the support of your family and friends, all hope is not lost. The adoption professionals at Adoption Choices of Missouri will take this role and support you however they can. By choosing adoption, you will receive the respect, compassion, and understanding that you and your baby deserve. You will never feel overwhelmed or alone with constant support from their team and available resources. 

  1. Why choose adoption if you have other children? 

Choosing adoption when you have other children is not an easy decision. In some ways, it makes you feel like you failed as a parent — whether that be due to your circumstances or something else. For me, it was trying to raise a third child as a single parent, at 27 years of age. That, and being in a new relationship, I did not feel emotionally, mentally, physically, or financially able to provide my child with the love, care, and support I knew they deserved.

When I was considering adoption for my baby, I wanted them to have the best life possible, even if that meant that wasn’t with me. So, I searched for local adoption centers near me and Adoption Choices of Missouri showed up. After speaking with them on the phone and discussing my options, I was impressed with the quality of care they provided and knew my child would be in good hands.

  1. Do you want a relationship with your child? 

Yes, of course! Gaining a long-lasting relationship with my child will welcome openness and understanding for both of us. I look forward to watching them grow and getting to know them. My goal is to show them how loved and cherished they are, and that I’m here for them as much as they want me to be. 

  1. Do people in your life know you gave your baby up for adoption? 

Some members of my immediate family know, and my close friend. I have decided not to tell extended family members or other friends for the time being, as this decision is very personal. At this point in my life, I am not mentally ready for the questions. Maybe this will change, but that’s not something I’m thinking about right now. The trusted and selected few who know are my support system, and that’s perfect for me right now.

Questions to Never Ask Birth Mothers

If you are ever presented with the above questions to never ask birth mothers — or ones similar — know that you have the right to tell whoever is asking that you are uncomfortable answering or that it’s none of their business. Especially if it’s someone you don’t know. Oftentimes, these types of questions come from a place of best intentions, but the wording comes out wrong.

But the bottom line remains the same. Your decision to place your baby for adoption is entirely yours, and you only have to reveal as much information as you choose. No one can make you do anything different, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to answer every question that’s asked of you.


Navigating the Adoption Triad: You, Your Baby and the Adoptive Family

Navigating the Adoption TriadYou, Your Baby and the Adoptive Family

Once you make the brave decision to place your baby for adoption, you become part of the adoption triad, otherwise known as the symbol of adoption. Just as it sounds, this symbol is a triangle that represents the three sets of interconnected relationships between you, your child and the adoptive family. As the birth mother, you have the power to make choices that affect how close these relationships are.

You will always be uniquely connected to your baby and the adoptive family. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to help you create an adoption plan that meets your needs and preferences for closeness and privacy within the adoption triad during the adoption process and post-placement.  

The Three Points of the Adoption Triad
  • The Pivotal Point: You

You’re unexpectedly pregnant and not ready, willing or able to raise a child. So you summon your strength and pursue adoption. By embarking on your adoption journey, you are navigating the adoption triad and connecting your baby with an adoptive family.

  • The Top Point: Your Baby 

Your baby is the top point of the triangle, loved by both you and the adoptive family. Because of your selfless decision made out of love, your baby will be nurtured and raised in a home by supportive adoptive parents. Your child will have access to opportunities, stability and safety. 

  • Completing the Triad: The Adoptive Family

The adoptive parents are your child’s legal parents. They will love, protect and care for your child. During the matching process, you will be able to view a number of adoptive parent profiles and select the one who you think would make the best fit for your child. Depending on your adoption agreement with them, you can also have the opportunity to get to know them and remain in your child’s life post adoption. 

You and the Adoptive Family

You get to choose which type of adoption you’re comfortable with. You get to decide how much you interact with the adoptive parent(s). 

  • Pre-adoption: You may envision a close relationship with the adoptive family. You might want to visit with them after you’ve matched. Your adoption caseworker can coordinate a meeting. Maybe you want the adoptive parents to accompany you to prenatal doctor’s appointments. You might want them in the delivery room with you when you give birth.

On the other hand, you may not want to be that close with the adoptive parents. Maybe you only want to speak with them over the phone. Maybe you want your caseworker to mediate all communication. You might want to keep any identifying information about yourself private. Or you might not want to have any contact at all. 

  • Post-placement: Do you want to keep in touch with the adoptive family after adoption? You may want to remain close with the adoptive parents after the adoption has been finalized, or you may prefer to have more distance. You can agree to communicate via text, email or letter, and you can determine how frequently you want to contact each other. 

Your desired level of openness with the adoptive family is a factor to consider when you’re looking at profiles of families waiting to adopt. You’ll want to know if your communication preferences pre- and post-adoption are compatible. Based on your preferences for closeness, you may want to choose an adoptive family that lives nearby or a family that lives in a different state. You want to make sure you match with a family who is on the same page about the type of relationship you’ll have with them. 

You and Your Child

You and your child will always be bonded to each other, no matter how involved you are in their life after adoption. As you develop an adoption plan, consider what type of relationship you’d like to have with your child post-placement. 

Do you want your child to know your identity, or do you prefer to keep that private? 

Do you want to receive updates about your child’s life? Do you want the adoptive parents to send photos of your child? At Adoption Choices of Missouri, adoptive parents must be willing to send a letter with pictures once a year until your child has reached adulthood, if you wish. You can also send letters and pictures of your own if you want your child to know more about you but are more comfortable doing so from a distance. 

Would you like to be more involved in your child’s life? Maybe you’d like to see your child in person once they’ve reached a certain age. Maybe you could visit on holidays or for your child’s birthday. You can talk with the adoptive family to see what sort of arrangements would work for both of you. 

A Triangle of Relationships

Sometimes, navigating the adoption triad might seem tricky or confusing. Do not be afraid to seek out support if you are sad, unsure or struggling in any way. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, our caseworkers offer guidance, support and resources to help you feel at peace as you go through the adoption process. We offer counseling services, which you can turn to before and after your baby has been placed for adoption. Additionally, we can help you find a birth mother support group so you can learn from other women who’ve gone through the adoption process and established different types of relationships with their children and their adoptive families. 

The adoption journey is a special experience that connects three groups of people. We are here to help you make sure that these relationships go as smoothly as possible according to your wishes. 

Navigating the Adoption Triad 

You, your baby and the adoptive parents are linked together. As you figure out whether an open, semi-open or closed adoption is the best type of adoption for you, it is important to think about what you’d like your adoption triad to look like both during the adoption process and after the placement. 

Adoption Choices of Missouri serves birth parents statewide and beyond, please call us or text us to learn more! Call us toll free at 877-903-4488 or, in Missouri call or text us at 1-816-527-9800

Meet the AuthorZoë Bowlus, a writing and editing enthusiast, considers herself a grammar groupie and suffers from a weakness for wordplay and working with words, whether she is reading, furiously typing away, playing Words with Friends, or filling in the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.  

She was adopted from Vietnam as a baby and began exploring her adoptee identity in Asian American Studies and Communication courses at UC Santa Barbara. As she combed through adoption literature for her last essay of college (she graduated with highest honors in 2020), she was inspired to use the research, editing, and writing skills she developed in college and her personal experience to create resources and share stories about adoption in a professional context. Writing for Adoption Choices, Zoë hopes to support people on their adoption journeys and to grow as an adoptee herself. 

Zoë is an aspiring cat lady who is allergic to cats. She enjoys curling up with homemade hot chocolate, kettle corn, and a good book but laments the absence of a feline reading companion. Her bedside table and bookshelves are overflowing with World War II historical fiction, Asian American and Mexico-U.S. borderlands fiction, contemporary fiction, grammar and style books, and collections of profiles. She spends an inordinate amount of time playing bridge.  

An avid NBA fan, Zoë lives in Sacramento, the primary reason anyone would root for the Kings. She holds out hope that they will make it to the playoffs during her lifetime. 




Birth Mother Blog

Important Questions for a Birth Mother Experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy to Ask Before Choosing Adoption

Important Questions for a Birth Mother Experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy to Ask Before Choosing Adoption

By Samara Wiley

As a birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you face a lot of unexpected questions. Have you considered all three options: parent your child, terminate your pregnancy, or choose adoption? If you are still weighing the pros and cons of giving a child up for adoption, here are some important questions to ask before placing your baby for adoption in Missouri.

I’m a birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, and I’m considering adoption for my baby. Where do I begin?  

That’s a great question! You’ll want to do careful research and make sure that you understand all that adoption involves. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. However, you don’t need to go through the adoption journey alone. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help! When you contact our agency, we will connect you with one of our Birth Parent Counselors. They’ll discuss all your options in detail and help you make the best decision for you.

If you determine that adoption is the right choice for you and your baby, your adoption caseworker will make sure you receive the respect and care you deserve. They are there to answer all your questions, address your concerns, and help you develop an adoption plan.

What does adoption cost? 

Your adoption journey will not cost you anything! Placing your baby for adoption is free of charge, as is filling out an application and speaking to our counselors and caseworkers. Also, depending on your situation, Adoption Choices of Missouri can offer financial assistance with medical bills, legal services, temporary housing, and court-approved living expenses.

How will I know if the adoptive parents are safe?

Our facility pre-screens our adoption families and makes sure that they have taken the right steps to be considered. We require adoptive families to complete a thorough home study, along with a background check that assesses any risk of criminal activity or child abuse. We thoroughly vet all of our waiting adoptive parents to ensure they’re ready to grow their families. As you and your baby’s health and safety are our top priority, we would never place your child in a family who was not going to give him or her their best chance at life.

To further ensure the best fit possible, you will get to look over profile photo books of potential adoptive parents and select a couple or individual yourself. Your adoption caseworker will walk through this process with you, and help you narrow down any criteria you have for your child and the life you’d like them to live. Do you envision him or her growing up in the city, suburbs, or country? Our caseworker will do their best to present profiles that fit within the family dynamic and lifestyle that you want for your child.

Can I stay in contact with my child after the adoption process?

This largely depends on what level of openness you choose in your adoption plan. There are three options: open, semi-open, and closed. Your adoption caseworker can explain the pros and cons of each, and help you determine the best decision for you.

If you choose either a semi-open or an open adoption plan, then yes — you will be able to have contact with your child and their adoptive parents after the adoption has been finalized. In a semi-open adoption, this can be completed through an online, confidential, and secure portal called ChildConnect. This will allow you and the adoptive parents to exchange letters, updates, and photos with each other.

With open adoption, you can maintain contact through virtual means such as FaceTime, ZOOM, phone, email, or text. You may also be able to visit in person, provided your adoptive parents agree and your child is comfortable with this. Visiting your child in person and with their adoptive family establishes a strong and healthy relationship. It also guarantees that your adoption journey will run more smoothly.

Will my child’s adoptive family love him or her like their biological child?

Yes! Without a doubt! Hopeful adoptive parents choose to open their hearts to a child they can love as their own, despite struggling to build their family biologically. Even if your child may have physical, emotional, or mental issues growing up, their adoptive parents will give them all the love, care, and support they have to offer. 

The soon-to-be adoptive parents are finally getting the family they’ve hoped, dreamed, and prayed for. By selecting them to raise your child, you are helping them fulfill this.  Your child’s adoptive parents will be grateful to you for giving them the gift of parenthood. 

What if my child asks about me later?

When you place your child for adoption, you’ll need to be prepared to answer your child’s questions about their adoption when they are older. To help them understand your reasons and motivations for doing so. Your child may need some time to process the information you give, and that’s completely natural! 

Many of the questions your child asks may bring up a lot of emotions and memories. You’ll need to prepare as best as you can. However, being honest with your child (no matter how painful their questions) will help them better understand why you chose adoption. This will also deepen their trust in you. 

Important Questions for a Birth Mother Experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy to Ask Before Placing Baby for Adoption

Adoption is a complex and emotional decision, but it is also one of the most rewarding ones you can make. If you are a birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are thinking about placing your baby for adoption, know that you are not alone. We are here to support you every step of the way.

Remember — you are doing this because you love your child and want the best for them. Also, no matter what — you will always be their birth mother.

Birth Mother Blog

Qualities to Look for in Adoptive Parents: Figuring Out What Matters When Giving Up a Child for Adoption in Missouri

Qualities to Look for in Adoptive Parents: Figuring Out What Matters When Giving Up a Child for Adoption in Missouri

By Zoë Bowlus

You’re unexpectedly pregnant and have made the courageous decision to choose giving up a child for adoption in Missouri. Now it’s time to make another choice: the adoptive family. It’s important to ask yourself, “If I’m considering adoption for my baby, what parental qualities should I look for?”

You may have a clear picture of the type of adoptive family you’re looking for. Maybe you have a couple of characteristics in mind that are important to you. Or, you might have no clue where to start. Wherever you are in the process mentally and emotionally, at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to help you as you search for the family that will adopt your baby. 

Here is  an overview of the matching process and a breakdown of qualities to look for in adoptive parents:

Finding a match

First, your adoption caseworker will send you profiles of adoptive parents waiting to adopt. Rest assured that adoptive parents at Adoption Choices of Missouri must go through background checks, interviews, and home studies. These families are qualified and ready to welcome your baby into their homes and hearts.

The provided profiles include photos and information that will allow you to get to know the adoptive parents and figure out if they are a good fit for you. Through “Dear Birth Mother” letters and detailed descriptions, the waiting families share their stories and adoption dreams. You will learn about their lifestyle, education and employment, interests, beliefs and values, hometowns, and so on. You will read about their reasons for choosing adoption and learn about the love, life, and opportunities they would give your child. 

As you browse the profiles of hopeful adoptive parents, you can mull over your options and weigh which qualities matter most to you. Then you will select your child’s adoptive family. After you’ve matched, your caseworker will coordinate communication. You and the adoptive parents will determine how you want to keep in touch during your pregnancy and post-placement. 

How will you know which family is the right family for you? Remember that this decision is about what matters to you. What type of parent do you want to raise your baby? What kind of life do you envision for your child? You may wish for your child’s life to be similar to yours in ways, or you may imagine a life for them that is totally different. What are your hopes for your baby? For inspiration, here are some ideas and questions to consider as you decide on an adoptive family:

Family type and size

  • Adoptive Parent(s): Do you want your child to grow up in a two-parent household? Is it important that your child’s parents are married? How long have they been in a relationship? Do you want an LGBTQ family to adopt your baby? How do you feel about a single parent raising your child? 
  • Other children: Do you want your child to be an only child? Or do you want your child to grow up with siblings? How many siblings? Does the family already have children? Does it matter to you if the family’s other children are biological or adopted? Does the family have plans to grow their family? Do you want the family to have had previous experience with adoption? 
  • Extended family: Are the adoptive parents close with their parents and siblings? Do you want your child to have grandparents who are actively involved in their life? Is a big extended family of aunts and uncles and cousins important to you? Would you like for the adoptive family to live near their relatives?
  • Pets: Do you want your child to grow up in a family with a dog or cat or other pet?


Do you have a preference for adoptive parents who are about the same age as you?  A little older? A little younger? 

Education and Employment

You may want to consider the adoptive parents’ education level. Does it matter to you if they graduated from college or have an advanced degree? 

What do the adoptive family members do for a living? Will they be able to provide financial stability for your child and what opportunities will they be able to give your child? How much do they work? Do they work from home? Would you prefer for your child to be raised by at least one stay-at-home parent? 

Race, ethnicity, and culture

Do you want the adoptive parents to share the same race and/or ethnicity as your child? Or are you open to transracial adoption? Would you like the adoptive family to be bilingual? 

Views, Values, and Beliefs

Is it important to you that the adoptive family has values and worldviews that are similar to yours? Do you want your child to grow up in a faith-based household?  

Hometown and Home 

Where does the adoptive family live? Depending on the level of openness you prefer and your comfort level, you may or may not want the adoptive parents to live in the same town or state. 

Is their home in a rural area or do they live in the city? Do they live by the ocean or the mountains? Do they live in a neighborhood with other families with young children? Are there good schools in their district? Are there nearby parks or museums? 

What is their home like? Do they live in a big house, a condo, or an apartment? Do they have a backyard?

Hobbies, Interests, and Social Life

What does the adoptive family do for fun? Do they spend a lot of time outdoors? Do they play sports? Maybe they have family game nights. How do they celebrate birthdays and holidays? Do they travel? Do they love going to the movies? Reading? What do they like to do with their friends? 

Parenting Philosophy

What is their parenting style? What values will they teach your child? How will they express their love and support? What traits make them great parents? If they already have children, what has their parenting experience been like? 

Why are they choosing to adopt? What sort of relationship do they envision with you, the birth mother? 


How do they describe themselves? What is their character like? 

Qualities to Look for in Adoptive Parents

These are just a few ideas and questions to think about as you look through adoptive family profiles. Some qualities may be really important to you; others may not matter so much. There are no right answers or opinions. Trust and respect your instincts. Do you feel like you connect with this adoptive family? Do you feel confident that they will provide your child with a loving and fulfilling life? As you figure out which qualities to look for in adoptive parents, you are one step closer to your adoption success story.

Adoptive Family Birth Father Birth Mother Blog

What is Adoption? | Get Help for Giving Up a Child for Adoption in Missouri

What is Adoption? | Adoption in Missouri

By Sofia Becker

As a birth mother who is looking into adoption in Missouri, you might have a lot of questions. After all, adoption is a huge world to navigate, and giving a child up for adoption is a big decision. If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’m considering adoption for my baby, but I need help with understanding adoption,” we at Adoption Choices of Missouri would love to help you understand the definition and history of adoption.

What is Adoption?

In Webster’s dictionary, to adopt means “to take by choice into a relationship.” Adoption is, by choice, a voluntary action for many adoptive parents. That is the easiest definition that we can go by. For everyone involved in the adoption process, the word itself means different things. Ranging from becoming the happiest family ever to having the best childhood ever, adoption changes everyone’s life in a different way. 

“Adoption” can also mean different things to people. To someone who has had a closed adoption or anything related to that, it might have negative connotations to them depending on their experience. But to the ones who are and have been open about their adoptions, they have learned to embrace their own identity for themselves and not be ashamed; they are able to talk about the immeasurable love that their birth mothers had for them in giving them their best chance at having a beautiful childhood and good life. 

It is also important to understand that “adoptive” means “made or acquired by adoption,” which refers to parents who have adopted a child. One should only use this term during the adoption process to aid with understanding the different terms. After the process is complete, this term should be dropped.

A Brief History of Adoption

Before 1851, adoption wasn’t legal – there were no laws that actually protected adopted children. Folks would adopt in secret to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy. If the child was unwanted or the birth mother was deemed unfit to raise them, children almost always found themselves in an orphanage or with extended family who were willing to take them. The adoptions that did take place usually held the best interests of the child in mind and were taken seriously. 

In 1851, Congress enacted the Adoption of Children Act to make adoptions legal and safe for children. Subsequently, organizations began popping up striving to help adopted children in any way possible. In the 1970s, agencies took over and adoptions reached a peak. Adoption Choices of Missouri was formed in 2006 or thereabouts to help facilitate adoptions better. 

Impact of Adoption 

Adoption impacts you, the birth mother, in different ways. It’s often a hard decision to struggle with and can be traumatic. It’s normal to deal with a lot of emotions all at the same time – especially loss. Some people view adoption as the “easy way out”. You might feel guilt or shame for having given up your child and it might affect your other relationships in a negative way. 

To understand how to deal with the impact that it has on you, it is important for you to find the support that you need to help you through the transition. Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you learn to deal with the impact of adoption in a healthy way and connect you with support groups. 

What is Adoption in Missouri?

Coming into the world of adoption can be a whirlwind. Understanding the definition and history of adoption can help with understanding its impact on the adoptive family and the adoptee. Please know that if you have any questions, Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you.