Adoptive Family Birth Mother Blog

An Adoption Story – A Life-Changing Decision: Amy Hammack

A Life-Changing Decision: Amy Hammack

“Living an experience is to know it. For the birth mother, however, living the experience and understanding the totality of the experience may take a lifetime journey.” — Donna Portuesi, from  “Impact of the Birthmother’s Experience, Then and Now

You’re 16. Six months pregnant. No one knows. You had done your best hiding the reality of a new life growing inside you. Even from your parents. The due date was quickly approaching, and you know you want to make a plan for adoption, but nothing’s prepared yet. You don’t feel like you can tell anyone because of the shame, but soon you won’t be able to hide anymore. What do you do?

For Amy Hammack, this was the beginning of her adoption journey. The moment in her life when everything changed. I had the privilege of hearing Amy’s story, and marveled at her strength and bravery. What she went through to give her son the best life possible is a rich example of a mother’s love.

The following interview is used with Amy’s expressed permission, including the use of her name. Her son, Robb Dow, has also given consent to the use of his name. Other names of friends and family, however, have been altered for the sake of privacy.

RR: When did you decide to make a plan for adoption?

AH: I was doing a lot of babysitting at the time. I babysat for this woman named Caitlyn. She had her child at a young age, too…she had had her first kid at 16, and her second three years later, and I saw her abuse them from time to time. I was more of a mother to her kids than she was…they used to call me “mommy.”

I babysat for another woman, and I could see she was a very loving mother. That’s when I decided I wanted to choose adoption.

I hid my pregnancy for the first six months. I didn’t tell my parents because I was ashamed. For your first pregnancy, it takes a while for you to show. I was just starting to show a baby lump, and I started wearing baggier clothes. My mother worked a second shift — both my parents, actually — so they didn’t see me much. Then, on the weekends, I tried to stay at friends’ places.

RR: How did you go about telling your parents?

AH: How I told them was through a friend of mine. I hadn’t been to the doctor because I was so freaked out, and he confirmed it there. He said, “You are this far along” and started to give me options. Did I want to keep the baby? I was Catholic, so I didn’t believe in abortion. He talked to me about adoption, which I kinda already knew about.

So, after that, I ran away. I didn’t go to school, and moved in with my friend. My parents didn’t know. I called and said I wasn’t coming home. They told me that no, I needed to come home so we could face this together.

I didn’t tell them on the phone that I was pregnant. My dad had told me once that, “if you ever get pregnant, I’ll kill ya.” And, you know, that sticks in your mind. He wouldn’t really, but I was still scared.

My friend was the one who ended up telling them. She said, “We went to the doctor today, and Amy is six months pregnant.” Just like that. Matter of fact. I had already decided I was going to move out and give the baby up for adoption. My dad said, “No, we need to talk about what the next few months are going to bring. If you want to give the baby up, that’s up to you. I understand the situation you’re in, and I kinda know what you’re going through.”

My mom and I were curious about this, so…I’m thinking maybe I have other siblings. My dad played around on my mom a lot.

Then my dad cried and said, “I’m glad you’re doing this.”

RR: Did you ever feel pressured to choose adoption, or was it completely your choice?

AH: It’s something I always wanted to do. I felt like I had nothing to offer. Once you have a kid, you’re responsible for a kid in so many different ways, and I was just a high school student.

I had nothing to offer. I was a high school student. I hadn’t even begun to live my life. I had to get through graduation. I had finished my junior year and still had senior year.

RR: Did you feel stigmatized for your choice?

AH: I was afraid I was going to be labeled as “slut,” or any of those other ones. I hid my pregnancy from everyone. Only three friends knew, and one of them didn’t even go to my school. They didn’t say anything.

RR: What was your path to adoption like?

AH: I babysat for a lady, Vicky, who had adopted a child. She knew my son’s adoptive aunt. She saw me walking one day, and wondered why I wasn’t in school. She hadn’t seen me in a while, and asked me what was going on. I was within six to eight weeks of delivery at this point. She said she knew of a family who was trying to adopt, and asked if she could make a phone call to them.

Within a few days, the adoptive parents took me out to lunch, and that’s the one and only time I met them. I can’t remember the place, but it was somewhere downtown Seattle and they brought their attorney. They wanted to make sure I understood that this was going to be a closed adoption, and that I was going to be taken care of. They offered to buy me a car so I could make it to my doctor’s appointments. (Laughs) A car. I didn’t even have my driver’s license, so that wasn’t going to work.

Closed adoptions is just what you did in 1981. If there was a choice otherwise, I wasn’t aware of it.

RR: What was the hospital experience like?

AH: When I got to the delivery room, I was crowning. Then they put something in my IV and told me to start counting backwards from one hundred. They put me completely out for the birth. Back then, they didn’t want you to remember anything. I understand why now…all the emotions…it makes it harder to give the baby up. Doctors didn’t want women to experience the birth. All they wanted was to get the baby out.

The same thing was done to my mom, even though she never gave a child up. It was believed then that it was best for you and the baby, but I think it had a lot to do with the doctor you got, too.

Afterwards, they put me in a different area of the hospital entirely. I was put in the burn unit. This was so I wouldn’t have any chance of seeing or being close to my baby. They said it wouldn’t have been safe to bring my baby there anyway, because the burn unit attracted bugs.

“I want to see my baby girl,” I told a nurse. I didn’t know what I was having, actually.

“It wasn’t a baby girl,” the nurse said. She was very nice. “It was a healthy baby boy.”

Another nurse came up. “Shh! It’s an adoption! You’re not supposed to say anything!”

They said I wouldn’t remember anything, but I remember that part.

RR: After the adoption, how did you process and grieve?

AH: I went numb. I can’t explain it. You know you’ve had a baby, now you can go back to school. And then…going back to school…everyone is like, “Where have you been?” But what do you say? I just told them I was sick, and didn’t want to talk about it.

It was hard on my parents, too. They were losing a grandchild. So, we didn’t talk about it. We acted like we completely forget about what happened. I think it was harder on my mom, because she had wanted me to keep him. Dad had made it clear from the beginning, “It’s Amy’s decision. It’s not up to you. We need to respect her decision.” This made me feel like they really accepted me and respected my choice.

Because my friend had been getting me my homework, I didn’t fall back behind in school. The only thing I had to do when I went back was earn extra credits so I could graduate. Every day after school, I would take the bus and stay at an elementary school for an hour to an hour and a half. I would grade papers, take kids out a recess, read to them — whatever the teacher wanted me to do.

To keep my mind off things, Vicky said that joining a pageant would help. So, I was part of the Miss Auburn Pageant. It didn’t make me forget, but it helped keep me distracted. The thing about being in the pageant was that you have a very strict schedule you have to abide by. You have to act in a certain way, there are events you had to go to…you had to be a good girl. Four days a week I was learning how to walk in heels, how to model, the proper ways to do makeup and hair — all the stuff I wasn’t into.

I had four brothers. I was your typical tomboy. My mom would put me in a dress, and by the time I got to school the curls and bun were pulled out. I played in dirt. My nickname was Mugs. If there was dirt, I would find it.

So, the [Miss Auburn] Pageant helped, but when it was done I had time to think. Everyone tried to keep my mind off it, but I thought about him — especially on birthdays and holidays.

RR: Tell me a bit more about your son’s adoptive parents.

AH: Rob’s mom was never able to have kids. She had something happen when she was 20 years old, and she had a hysterectomy. But, she’d always wanted children. She was in her early 30s, and her husband was much older.

She was a hairdresser, and he owned a boat company. I knew what they did, and their names. When I babysat for Vicky, I found pictures of Robb, and I took one. I knew it was him, because I recognized the mother holding him and the father and his big smile.

RR: Did you pick Robb’s name, or did his parents name him?

AH: Robb was named after his father’s dad, Robert. This is ironic because, if I had kept him, I was going to [pick the same name, and have his middle name after his birth father].

RR: Did Robb’s birth father know that he had a son?

AH: His birth father knew about him. He called me a “dirty little slut,” then completely disappeared. He was in the army, married with two kids. I thought I was in love, but I had just turned 16. I didn’t know what love was. Here I was with daddy issues, and my dad was drinking. When my dad finally paid attention, it was too late.

I had never had someone pay attention to me in that way. He gave me attention, bought me clothes and dropped me off at school. Even offered his credit card, but I never took him up on that. It was a lot like Pretty Woman.

Years later, I found out he got kicked out the army and did what he did to me to someone else. He had picked up a friend of mine to take her home, and then I found out that he’d had sex with her that day, too. She ended up marrying a woman. I realized then that I had been pretty much raped by him. That he had groomed me. He got what he wanted, and then he moved on.

The attorney that came with Robb’s parents published an announcement in a newspaper just to go through the proper channels. They knew that Robb’s birth father would never respond. He had told me he didn’t care, and to never contact him again. When I signed the papers at the hospital, the attorney explained that they had chosen a newspaper nowhere near us, because they were trying to protect me. Since they knew his birth father wasn’t going to come forward, the distance kept anyone at my school from seeing it.

It was a no brainer to me. I trusted Vicky, and knew that she would make sure I was well taken care of.

RR: How have you found healing?

AH: I went back to school in 2003 and took a Psychology class, where I learned how much I had been punishing myself over the years. In high school, I explained that I chose adoption because of all the things I wanted to do. I was going to go into the military, but never did. I had good intentions, but — honestly — my biggest fear was getting pregnant again. One thing I always did was with every relationship…I was very open and honest about [Robb’s adoption]. I felt like that was the right thing to do. Being baptized and doing Bible study helped, too. It helped me not be afraid to admit who I was. But, inside, choosing adoption was still the hardest thing I ever did.

Until my Psych class, though, I didn’t realize what I was doing to myself. That I never gave myself time to heal. That’s an important process. Healing. One of the ways I learned I could do that was to write about it and let it out. So, in either 2004 or 2005, I found Donna’s article on the website, “Silent Voices Unheard.” It touched me and started the healing process. I tried to not think of Robb’s adoption. It hurt too much not knowing him or if I would ever meet him again, and thinking about it made me very emotional. This article is what inspired me to educate myself, and is what woke me up.

RR: What advice would you give birth mothers or adoptive parents looking to adopt?

AH: (Pause) You brought up a memory when you asked that. Going back to the Miss Auburn pageant…there were other girls who were pregnant and wanted to talk about it. I didn’t think I was the best person for them to come to, and said they should go the counselors. But I told them, “Here’s my story. This is what I did.”

It’s a big decision, and a life-changing one. It will change who you are all the way around. Make sure you do your research. Only you can make this decision for your life.

Having Robb and choosing adoption was a blessing. I’m glad I decided to make a bad choice into a positive decision. He has even told me, “Thank you for giving birth to me.” This makes everything worth it.


Birth Mother Blog

Placing Your Baby for Adoption in the Hospital: Last-Minute Adoptions in Missouri

Placing Your Baby for Adoption in the Hospital: Last-Minute Adoptions in Missouri

By Samara Wiley

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy can lead to a whirlwind of emotions. You know you’re not ready to raise a child in any sense of the word. Maybe you didn’t see yourself having a child at your current stage in life — or at all. That is okay! Whatever your circumstances, it’s never too late to choose adoption. Last-minute adoptions in Missouri are more common than you think, and there’s no shame in doing what you think is best for you and your child.

So, as you sit in your hospital bed and hold your baby, don’t worry. Adoption Choices of Missouri is just a call away, and we can get an adoption caseworker to your hospital quickly. If you’re considering giving a child up for adoption in Missouri, our adoption agency is here to help you every step of the way through your adoption journey. 

Adoption in the Hospital

You’re in the hospital and just delivered your baby. Looking down at your child, you realize that you are not ready to be a parent. At the start of your pregnancy, you felt like you could handle it and had enough time to prepare, but now that your baby is here, reality has set in. At this time in your life, you know that you are unable to provide the love, care, and support that your child deserves.  So, you choose the next best thing for him or her and decide to place your baby for adoption.

You request to speak with a medical professional who can provide you with the resources that you need, and the phone number to our local adoption center in Missouri. Within moments, you are connected with a Birth Parent Counselor, who then lets you know that an adoption caseworker is on their way. You are assured that you are in good hands. Despite the raging emotions, you begin to feel like everything will be ok.

What Adoption in the Hospital will Look Like 

When the adoption caseworker arrives, they walk you through your options, and the steps necessary to place your baby with a loving adoptive family. These will include, but are not limited to:

  1. Deciding what type of adoption you want 
  2. Creating your chosen adoption plan
  3. Selecting your child’s adoptive family
  4. Communicating with the potential adoptive parents
  5. Creating a post-adoption plan
  6. Signing all necessary paperwork, such as all medical and adoption forms that you will need to finalize your adoption. 

Just because you’re choosing adoption in the hospital last minute doesn’t mean that you will experience the adoption process any differently. Your process may just be sped up a bit. But your adoption caseworker will make sure that everything is processed quickly and efficiently. They’ll also answer any questions you have along the way.

Last-Minute Adoptions in Missouri for Birth Mothers 

Placing your baby for adoption last minute can feel impossible and overwhelming, but it is always an option. Whether you are in labor or holding your baby post-delivery, it’s never too late to choose adoption for you and your baby. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, our adoption professionals are here to help provide you with the comfort and care that you deserve as a birth mother. 

Birth Mother Blog

8 Different Types Birth Mothers: What You Should Know as a Birth Mother  

8 Different Types Birth MothersWhat You Should Know as a Birth Mother  

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy as a birth mother can be an overwhelming experience. Whether you be a young teen mom or a second-time mother, it can still be challenging. However, no matter what stage you’re at in your life, you don’t need to feel ashamed, guilty or alone in your choices. Life often throws us unavoidable circumstances beyond our control. 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to support you. We work with birth mothers from all walks of life and will not turn you away. Choosing to place your baby for adoption is an amazing adoption, and we will be here to help you in any way we can every step of the way. 

Different Types of Birth Mothers:

  1. Married – Perhaps you are married to your partner or spouse and living happily together. Yet, just because you are married does not mean you can’t choose adoption for your child. Whether it’s that you and your partner or spouse are not financially stable, already parenting children or just don’t see yourselves having children at all, adoption is still an option for you and your child. 


  1. Single – Going through a pregnancy alone can be stressful, especially if you have no support, but you are never alone finding the right support system. Through our adoption agency, you will have your adoption caseworker and other professionals to help you navigate your adoption journey. You can also reach to trusted friends and family members to be there for you in the good times and bad. From pregnancy to post placement, you will have the guidance and support you need by your side every step of the way. 


  1. Addicted – Struggling with an addiction can be a hard habit to break. This can cause you to feel nervous, lonely or scared. Throw in an unexpected  pregnancy into the mix, and this could leave you feeling a whirlwind of emotions. Yet, adoption is still an option for you. Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you find safe, temporary housing for your pregnancy and assist with court-approved birth mother expenses. 


  1. Military – As a military birth mother, you might be on active duty overseas or on leave. But, wherever you are stationed, if you are unable to raise and support a child while serving your country, you can still choose adoption for you and your baby. You will receive the support and care that you need, even as a military birth mother.


  1. Teen – Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in your teens can turn your world inside out. You may feel overwhelmed with emotion, sacred and worried. Perhaps you don’t have anyone you can turn to or have the support of your parents or friends. Adoption is still an option for you. With the constant support from our adoption professionals and counselors, you will have all the encouragement and comfort you need to have a positive and empowering adoption journey. 


  1. Professional – As a career-driven birth mother, you may not have the time or mindset needed to focus on being a mother at this time. This is okay! You can make the decision to place your baby for adoption. You can still reach your career goals, establish a relationship with your child through an open adoption plan and feel accomplished in your life goals all at the same time. 


  1. Incarcerated – If you are facing jail time, or are already serving your sentence, an unplanned pregnancy can throw a wrench into things. You know that you are unable to raise your child and give him or her the life they deserve while you are imprisoned. You also don’t want them going into the foster care system. As a birth mother, you want to know that they have found a stable and loving family, who will give them their best chance at life. With this in mind, you can choose adoption. 


  1. Survivor of Sexual Assault/Rape – If you have been the victim or sexual assault, rape or another form of abuse and become unexpectedly pregnant through it, deciding what to do can feel overwhelming. You may feel shame and guilt, but this is completely natural. You’ve been through a traumatic experience, and you’re not alone. If you don’t feel ready to raise your child, or don’t want to parent at all, our Birth Parent Counselors are here to help get you through the tough moments. We will walk alongside you down the adoption road to a place of healing, acceptance and an abundance of love.

Advice for You as a Birth Mother 

No matter what category you fall into, at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will never turn you away. We work with all different types of birth mothers and feel blessed by each and every one. When you place your baby for adoption through our agency, you will have constant care, support and guidance throughout your adoption journey. From start to finish, you will never feel alone! We will ensure that you have the most positive and empowering adoption journey possible. 

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 Author: Samara Wiley is a published author of poetry, essays, and an environmental children’s storybook called, Waiting for the Water Fairy. She graduated from Benedictine University in 2018 with a double Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and French.She has been published in three small poetry anthologies one was called Talented.

Her other writing accomplishments include: winning a high school poetry competition and $2500 for her high school, having two out of her five novels be considered for publication and writing movie critic reviews for her university’s newsletter. 

Although she has Cerebral Palsy and has had a turbulent childhood, Samara puts these small specs of herself into her writing to personally connect with her audience. She prides herself on pushing the boundaries in her writing and in her personal life with everything she does. Samara writes with her heart and a voice of compassion, and loves to pull from her top passions in life.

She currently lives in Yorkville, Illinois with her mom and two sisters.

Birth Mother Blog

Give Up My Baby for Adoption vs. Place My Baby For Adoption: The Importance of Positive Adoption Language for Birth Mothers 

Give Up My Baby for Adoption vs. Place My Baby For Adoption:  

The Importance of Positive Adoption Language for Birth Mothers 

If you are a birth mother experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and are researching adoption for your child, you may have come across the terms “give up my baby for adoption” and “place my baby for adoption.” Both of these terms are commonly used in the adoption industry and are often used interchangeably. However, these individual phrases relay two very different messages about adoption and the choice you are making — one positive and the other negative.

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we believe that you should never feel shameful or guilty for placing your child for adoption. That you should never feel as though you need to hide your decision or fear judgment because you aren’t able to raise your child yourself. Adoption is a beautiful option. It provides your child with their best chance at life and helps the dreams of their adoptive parents come true. 

We believe that adoption, as a whole, is a positive thing and the language surrounding it should be just as positive. That’s why we are here to help you understand the difference between the phrases “give up my baby” and “place my baby,” so that you can feel empowered when you choose adoption for your child.

Give Up My Baby for Adoption

Immediately, this term evokes a very negative connotation. It creates the feeling that you’ve failed at something. That you are not good enough. That you are “giving up.” But, that’s not true at all! When you choose adoption, you are not giving up. Quite the opposite. You are putting your child’s needs before your own. You are admitting that you are not in a place where you can raise your child, or give him or her the life they deserve. There is nothing easy about the adoption process, but loving your child enough to give them their best chance at life is definitely not giving up.

This phrase originated back in the early days of adoption, when birth mothers didn’t have control over the adoption process. When their babies were handed over to an adoptive family and she never got to learn what happened. But those days are long gone! You are now able to customize your adoption journey and be in full control every step of the way.

Place My Baby for Adoption

Right away, this phrase creates a sense of ease. Empowerment. You feel like you are in control and have willingly chosen to provide your child with the life he or she deserves. This is exactly how you should feel! There is absolutely nothing shameful about placing your baby with a loving adoptive family. 

That’s why our goal is to have this phrase become the everyday term you hear in the adoption industry. It proclaims that you are a brave birth mother, making a selfless and loving decision for your child’s future. That you are enough. That you are valued and believe your child is too.

Positive Adoption Language for Birth Mothers

The words, terms and phrases we use can greatly influence how we view something. They can also have an impact on how we feel about ourselves. Having positive adoption language for birth mothers when it comes to choosing adoption can make all the difference.

Now that you know the difference between the phrases “give up my baby for adoption” and “place my baby for adoption,” what are your thoughts? Which one do you like better? Don’t hesitate to leave us a comment or get in touch with one of our adoption specialists.

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 Author: Samara Wiley is a published author of poetry, essays, and an environmental children’s storybook called, Waiting for the Water Fairy. She graduated from Benedictine University in 2018 with a double Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and French.She has been published in three small poetry anthologies one was called Talented.

Her other writing accomplishments include: winning a high school poetry competition and $2500 for her high school, having two out of her five novels be considered for publication and writing movie critic reviews for her university’s newsletter. 

Although she has Cerebral Palsy and has had a turbulent childhood, Samara puts these small specs of herself into her writing to personally connect with her audience. She prides herself on pushing the boundaries in her writing and in her personal life with everything she does. Samara writes with her heart and a voice of compassion, and loves to pull from her top passions in life.

She currently lives in Yorkville, Illinois with her mom and two sisters.


Questions to Ask LGBT Adoptive Parents

Questions to Ask LGBT Adoptive Parents

“Family” is often defined by what society considers “traditional”: a husband, a wife and their biological child(ren). But at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we celebrate all families. It doesn’t matter whether a family is made up of a mom and a dad, two moms, two dads or a single parent. It doesn’t matter whether a family is formed through adoption. It doesn’t matter whether a parent is heterosexual or LGBT. All that matters is that the family members are focused on loving, supporting and caring for each other.  

As you’re looking through profiles of prospective adoptive parents, it’s important to think about what you’re looking for in an adoptive family. What type of family do you think is best suited to love and raise your child? You may find that an LGBT family is the perfect fit for you and your preferences. Before you match, here are some questions to ask LGBT adoptive parents

Family and Relationships 

You’ll want to learn about the adoptive parents’ family and friends.  

  • Tell me about your family: 
    • Are you close with your family? 
    • Do you have siblings? Do they have children?  
    • What was your childhood like? 
    • Does your family live nearby? Do you visit them often? 
    • Are they supportive of your adoption journey? 
  • Do you have children? If so, were they adopted?
  • Tell me about your social circle:
    • What do you and your friends like to do when you spend time together? 
    • How do your friends support you? 
    • Are you friends with people who have children? With other families who have adopted? With other LGBT families? 
  • For two-parent families: 
    • How did you meet? 
    • What do you admire about each other? 
    • How have you overcome any judgement or discrimination about your relationship? 
      • How would you teach my child to embrace diverse family forms? 

Education and Employment

  • What level of education did you achieve? What did you study? 
  • What do you do for work? 
    • How will you juggle work and parenting responsibilities? 
  • How will you teach my child the importance of education? 
  • Are there good schools in your neighborhood? 

Parenthood and Parenting

Ask prospective adoptive parents about their parenting goals and philosophies. 

  • Why do you want to be a parent? 
    • If you already have children, tell me about your parenthood experience. Why do you want to grow your family through adoption? 
    • If you don’t have children, what experience do you have with children (e.g. babysitting, nieces and nephews)? 
  • Why is adoption important to you? 
  • What qualities do you have that will make you a good parent? 
  • How would you describe your parenting style? 
  • How will you create a family identity? 
    • What values will you emphasize? 
    • How will you discuss what family means with my child? 
  • How will you show my child that you love him or her? 
  • What opportunities can you offer my child? 
    • What activities will you expose them to? 

Diversity and Identity 

LGBT parents may have experienced prejudice or other difficulties because of their sexual orientation. Their life experiences may result in a strong sense of self and especially inclusive definitions of family and love, excellent qualities in an adoptive parent. 

  • What adversities have you faced as an LGBT individual? How did you overcome this adversity? How have they made you a stronger individual and how will these life experiences affect your parenting?  
    • How will you foster self-esteem in my child? 
    • How will you teach my child to love themselves and others? 
  • How will you support my child if he or she experiences teasing or discrimination about their adoption or their family? How will you defend your family structure? How will you teach my child to respond to outsiders’ questions about his or her family?  
  • How do you plan to teach my child to be resilient in the face of challenges?
  • How will you encourage my child to communicate about their feelings and struggles? 
  • How will you teach my child to celebrate diversity? How will create an open-minded home and safe environment? 
  • How will you instill the importance of equality, respect and acceptance in your household? 
  • What type of relationship do you envision with the birth mother? 
    • What type of relationship do you want my child to have with his or her birth mother? 
      • How will you refer to me (e.g. birth mom/mother/parent)? 
  • How will you talk to my child about adoption? 
    • How will you include adoption in my child’s family origin story? 
    • How will you ensure my child feels confident and comfortable about their identity as an adoptee? 

Questions to Ask LGBT Adoptive Parents: Is This Family a Good Fit for Me and My Baby?

These are some questions to ask LGBT adoptive parents that will help you figure out if they are the right match for you. Don’t hesitate to ask your caseworker for guidance and don’t be afraid to ask prospective parents any questions you are curious about. Choosing an adoptive family is a big decision, and you want to make sure you’re confident that the family you match with will treat you and your child with care and respect. 

Remember that all adoptive parents at Adoption Choices of Missouri have been screened and vetted. They are approved to raise your child in their safe and loving home. Now it’s up to you to figure out which adoptive family you connect with. 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to help you find the right adoptive family, no matter the shape or size. Every adoptive family’s story is unique and special. LGBT adoptive parents might just fit perfectly into your remarkable and courageous adoption story.    

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

Teen Pregnancy in Missouri

Teen Pregnancy in Missouri

By Samara Wiley

Finding out you’re pregnant when you’re a teenager can be daunting, especially if the pregnancy wasn’t planned, but help and support is available. First, if you think you might be pregnant but you’re not sure, it’s important to take a pregnancy test as soon as possible to find out. Unexpected Teen Pregnancy in Missouri can be a stressful experience. Here are some helpful tips for teens considering giving a child up for adoption in Missouri.

I’m pregnant and don’t want to parent – what should I do next?

If your pregnancy test is positive, it’s understandable to feel mixed emotions: excitement about having a child, worry about telling your parents, and anxiety about pregnancy and childbirth. You may also be feeling worried or frightened if you’re not sure that you want to be pregnant.

Make sure to talk through your options and think carefully before you make any decisions. Try talking to a family member, friend, or someone you trust. Whatever your age, you can also ask for confidential advice from:

  • your family doctor or nurse
  • a contraception or sexual health clinic

It’s your decision, but don’t ignore the situation, hoping it will go away.

Your options are:

  • continuing with the pregnancy and keeping my baby
  • having an abortion
  • continuing with the pregnancy and considering adoption for my baby

If you decide to continue your pregnancy, the next step is to start your prenatal care. If you decide not to continue with your pregnancy, you can talk to a doctor or visit a sexual health clinic to discuss your options. They can refer you for an assessment at a clinic or hospital if you choose to have an abortion.

What support is there for pregnant teenagers?

If you decide to continue with your pregnancy, there is a wide range of services to support you during pregnancy and after you have had your baby. If you have considered adoption, you can work with Adoption Choices of Missouri. We will discuss your options and help create an adoption plan.

Can I carry on with my education while I’m pregnant?

Yes, you can stay at school up until the birth and then return to school afterward. If you’re pregnant, you’re expected to stay at school and continue your education until you finish high school. Your school shouldn’t treat you any differently. You’re also entitled to a maternity break immediately before and after the birth.

You can only get maternity pay if you have a job, so very few students are eligible. But if you’re a student, you should be able to take maternity-related absences from studying after your baby’s been born. How long you take will depend on your situation and your particular course.

Birth Mother Blog

5 Things to Know about Open Adoption with Lesbian Adoptive Parents 

5 Things to Know about Open Adoption with Lesbian Adoptive Parents

By Samara Wiley

Choosing your child’s adoptive family may not be a simple task as you browse through potential parents for your child. But, as you do so, remember you are not alone. If you are giving a child up for adoption in Missouri, remember that your adoption caseworker is there to help you determine what you are looking for in your adoption journey, and who might be the best fit. As you’re looking through the prospective adoptive parent profiles and narrow down your options, keep this in mind. Everything will be ok. Ask yourself: I’m considering adoption for my baby, and I’m open to having lesbian adoptive parents raise my child, but what would that look like? Would they agree to an open adoption? Will my child have a good life with them?

What Your Child Will Gain with Lesbian Adoptive Parents

  1. Embracing Diversity and Openness

The LGBT community embraces diversity, no matter what your culture or religious beliefs may be. So, with lesbian adoptive parents, your child will learn how to be accepting of everyone, no matter what. He or she will be taught that individuality is something to be celebrated, not judged or discriminated against. This will help your child have a stronger and more healthy sense of self as they grow up as well. 

Your child will be encouraged to ask questions and maintain an open line of communication with their adoptive parents, strengthening the bond they all have together and build a foundation of trust. Being honest and transparent is one of the many keys to success — especially with open adoption. 

  1. Combating Challenges

As your child develops, there is a risk that he or she may endure challenges, as well as mental or emotional issues. These struggles can stem from various things, but your child’s lesbian adoptive parents will be there to support and comfort him or her through it. Because of the similar challenges both adoptive mothers faced in their own lifetimes — separate and together — they will have a wealth of knowledge and tools to pass on to your child. 

For example, if your child experienced an act of judgment or bullying at school, he or she will learn how to healthfully stand up for themselves and learn that who they are is enough. This will help your child learn to believe in themselves and gain confidence 

  1. Communication and Trust

As aforementioned, communication and trust are two of the secrets to success with any adoption, but especially one where there is an open adoption agreement. As a birth mother, having your child raised by lesbian adoptive parents may be a new idea for her, and you may not understand at first how this type of family unit operates. This is where communication and trust come in.

As soon as you select your child’s adoptive parents, talk with them. Set up a time to meet, whether that’s virtually or in person. Get to know them. This will all give you a glimpse of the life that your child will have. It will also help you establish trust with them and affirm that you’ve made the right choice.  

  1. Promote a Sense of Identity

Identity is as crucial to an adoptee as it is their adoptive parents. Within an open adoption with lesbian adoptive parents, your child will never lack in learning the importance of who they are and instilling a strong sense of self. Helping your child grow with this knowledge will help shape him or her into a confident, independent, and happy adult. This, in turn, can lead to courage when faced with tough life choices further down the road. 

  1. Nurturing Kindness

Lesbian adoptive parents will raise their children to be kind and compassionate to others. Learning this at a young age will impact your child in a positive way, and teach them to see the world with a wider perspective. 

This goes hand-in-hand with having them develop into more loving and accepting human beings overall. 

Lesbian Adoptive Parents in Missouri

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we support open adoptions with you the birth mother and the chosen adoption family. We believe in openness and transparency throughout your adoption process. Our agency is here to offer support and care that you as adoptive parents need during this life-changing process. We will ensure that your child is happy and is loved by becoming a part of your family.  

Adoptive Family Birth Mother Blog

An Adoption Story: The Selfless Choice: Michelle Guykema

The Selfless Choice: Michelle Guykema

“A birth mother puts the needs of her child above the wants of her heart.” 

~ Skye Hardwick

When it comes to making a plan for adoption, birth mothers face a lot of pushback. Stigmas surrounding their choice claim they are irresponsible or just looking to take the easy way out. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Choosing adoption is an excruciating and selfless journey. It is not something that can be decided flippantly, and it isn’t for the faint of heart.

For Michelle Guykema, she’d always wanted to be a mother. It was her ultimate life goal. But, when she became pregnant unexpectedly at eighteen, she didn’t have the resources or lifestyle to adequately make her dream come true. Hence, her path to adoption began.

The following interview is used with Michelle’s permission, including the use of her name and that of my birth father. Names of others involved have been left purposefully nondescript for the sake of privacy or legal reasons. There were so many details shared that not everything was able to make it into this article; however, Michelle has voiced the desire to write a book about her adoption journey, which she hopes to have published one day.

Disclaimer: Please note that the following worldview illustrated in this interview is a reflection of my birth mother’s beliefs and her experience. Adoption Choices Inc. is a non-faith based adoption agency, and ensures clear communication with all parties from beginning to end. 

RR: What was your path to adoption like?

MG: So, when I found out I was pregnant, I was very surprised because I was on the pill. Your birth father and I had a good relationship for a while, but then when he got into drinking and doing drugs, it changed the dynamics of our relationship. He became abusive. He didn’t want you, so I asked my mom and my stepdad if they would help. They were just newly married, though, so they couldn’t do anything about a new baby coming.

I was only working part time and still living with my mom and stepdad. I talked to the pastor of my church — I was working in the daycare, working Sundays and Wednesdays — and he said that he knew of somebody that could help me through the adoption process.

We hired an attorney. I can’t remember who recommended the attorney. If she was recommended by my pastor or not, but through the course of my pregnancy, I was having a really hard time because I didn’t want this. It wasn’t something I wanted to do, but I felt like I didn’t have a choice. That I didn’t have the means to take care of you, and I was still living with my parents. Bob wasn’t any help; he didn’t have a job, no money and still living with his parents.

The attorney said she would help us find a family. My pastor was active in the process as well, and said that he would also help us find a family. We met with the attorney several times and she encouraged us to sign the adoption papers right away, but I wouldn’t. Bob signed the papers a couple months later, in March, but I was still holding on for some kind of miracle that I was going to be able to keep you.

RR: How did you select the adoptive parents?

MG: I was given several packets of biographies from different families — I think either seven or nine, but can’t remember — and I read through each one of them. I was like, “I don’t know how to do this. I have no idea how to make this decision.” But I remember sitting on my bed and just praying and crying…I was so overwhelmed. It’s like, how am I supposed to pick who I’m going to give my child to? I don’t know any of these people, and people can put anything down on paper.

So, I turned all the profiles upside down and shuffled them around on my bed. I prayed over every single one and said, “Ok, Lord. You’re picking the family, because I don’t know who they are and You can see what’s going on. I have no idea, so I’m putting my total trust in you.” I closed my eyes, reached down, and took a deep breath. In that moment, I was thinking, “Ok, if I don’t like the person or their name, I can just throw them back in the pile.” (Laughs) But no…I trusted God and chose the packet I picked up, and it was your adoptive parents, Mark and Patty.

After that, I contacted my pastor and he contacted the attorney, and then…I honestly don’t remember a lot of all the moving pieces because it was so emotional for me. This was the hardest decision I have ever made. But we went through the process of what it was going to be like.

RR: Was it your choice to have a closed adoption?

MG: When I talked to my attorney, I told her that I would like to get pictures of you, see who you were, watch you grow up from afar and to have a relationship with you. Stuff like that. I asked her if that would be possible. She told me that your adoptive parents — the interested party — didn’t want to have an open adoption. It needed to be closed. I guess closed adoptions were popular back then, but anyways…I didn’t really feel like I had a choice. It was something I had to agree to.

RR: What did you know about adoption starting out?

MG: I didn’t know anything about adoption. My brother was adopted, but I didn’t really understand what that entailed and it never mattered.  He was my brother and I loved him like he was my natural brother. I hadn’t researched ahead of time because frankly, I really didn’t know where to start. Because of that, I hadn’t educated myself to the degree that I should have to understand all the ins and outs. Adoption also wasn’t talked about back then as it is now.

RR: Did you ever feel stigmatized or judged for your choice?

MG: So…not many people knew. There was my mom and stepdad, and a few family members, Bob’s family and a few of his friends but for the most part, I kept it quiet and hidden because I didn’t want people to know. What would people think of me? The thought of people not liking me because I gave my child up? Yeah, that was scary to me because you get judged as, you know, you don’t love your child or whatever…those people don’t understand what birth parents go through. I loved my daughter more than I loved myself.  I wanted her to have a better life with parents who could afford to give her the best life possible, employed, a stable and loving home, who would have more children and older than eighteen years old. That is why I had to do what I did, to give her the best life possible.

So yeah…I think that I was pretty nervous to tell people. Not only nervous but it was going to be painful to relive my decision over and over when people asked me, “Well, I thought you had a baby. Where’s your baby?” It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.

RR: How did you keep your pregnancy hidden?

MG: When I was with Bob, my circle of friends didn’t like him too much, so that was easy not telling them, because I didn’t see them anymore. We mainly hung around Bob’s friends and family. Bob had his own group of friends that he ran with, and I sort of incorporated myself into that. He was like the leader, and all of his friends were very protective of me.

I lived with Bob at his parents house for a few months and when we weren’t camping, we stayed in a lot. We were always at his house or at his best friends’ house.  Then, during the 2nd term of my pregnancy, we rented our own house on Education Hill. We were only there, though, for probably two or three months because we couldn’t pay rent.

RR: Were your parents supportive when you told them you were pregnant? What was their reaction?

MG: Their first reaction was shock. They started asking me all these questions, like: how are you going to do this? Do you know how much a baby costs? You don’t even have your own place yet. You know, typical things like that. Next was concern. Saying, “Ok, you’re pregnant. You’re going to have a baby. You need to move back home with us. You need to start eating healthy. You need to start taking prenatal vitamins.” Stuff like that.

They did not like Bob. They tolerated him towards the end of my pregnancy because I kept hoping he’d change his mind and want to keep you

At one point, though, after the shock wore off, I think I was 3 months along when I told them I was pregnant, my mom and stepdad became very active in my pregnancy. They went to Lamaze classes, they went for walks with me every day, made sure I was eating healthy and taking my vitamins. Went to my doctor appointments with me and even sat me down and said that they wished they could help. That if there was any way they had the finances, they would take care of you. But, because they were newly married and had just bought their first house, they were financially strapped.

I was 6 months pregnant with you when Bob signed the papers. I started hanging out with my parents more. I moved back in with them, and they were there for me through everything.

RR: How did you process and grieve after the adoption?

MG: After I signed the papers, on the day you were born, my attorney told me I had three days to change my mind. No one ever told me that it had to be in writing. Just that I had three days after I signed the papers. So, on the third day, I called my attorney. I was freaking out, and told her I had changed my mind. She basically told me that I had run out of time and that because it wasn’t in writing, there was nothing she could do. Calling her was a knee-jerk reaction. I didn’t actually know what I was going to do if I got you back. All I knew was that I hurt so deeply, missed you so much and I had to figure out a way to stop the pain.

I spent three months in my room at my parent’s house. Sobbing uncontrollably, and rocking myself like I was holding you on my bedroom floor. I got really depressed. Saying goodbye to you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. I isolated myself, and didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t even talk to Bob or make an attempt to see him. My heart broke when he signed the papers 3 months before you were born, and broke again when I had to give you over to the nurse so she could take you to your new family. In my heart, Bob and I were over then. Although, we didn’t officially break up until the December after you were born.

I couldn’t work at the church nursery for a good three or four months. My pastor told me that the adoptive parents he’d found for you were part of his church, so when I did start at the daycare again, every single baby…I wondered if it was you. I asked my mom if I would be able to recognize you. If I would know I was holding my own child. She told me that we wouldn’t have the same connection, but that it was probably possible that I would. So, I never stopped looking. Every time I saw someone pushing their baby in a stroller, or walking down the street with their daughter. I would always wonder if I’d catch a glimpse of you. I thought about you every day. Prayed for you. Celebrated your birthdays with you. Never gave up hope that one day I would meet you.

RR: How have you found healing?

MG: No one tells you the amount of strength you’ll need to get through this…to continue to go through life. It’s like a death. But, in some aspects, death would be easier. Because while I was grieving the loss of not having you, I knew you were out there with somebody and I couldn’t see you. I couldn’t know what was going on in your life. It was hell.

There’s no way I could have done this without God. He was my focus. My center. He was the reason that I was able to put you up for adoption. I didn’t believe in abortion. That wasn’t even an option. It never crossed my mind. I encompassed everything in my life around God. Listened to Christian music, started going to church a lot more, and became even more active than I had been before. I also read my Bible, and grew my relationship with Christ. Without Him…I didn’t want to be here…so, He is how I got through it.

RR: What was the most challenging aspect of your adoption journey?

MG: I feel that my attorney didn’t give me all the information I should have had. I feel like because I was young, she didn’t think this was any big deal for me. That I wasn’t given the full picture of what things were going to look like. Also, that she was doing this more because it was a job. She wasn’t looking out for my best interest.

Because this affected me so deeply, I really believe that this is why I have a difficult time with trusting people.  Why I have to ask a bazillion questions first. Giving up a child is the hardest thing you’ll ever have to go through, and you want to have people that you can trust. Your attorney should be the one person you can trust the most, because they are supposed to be representing you. I don’t feel like she did that for me.

RR: If there was one, what would be a highlight of your adoption journey?

MG: The Lord honored His promise. He put you with the best family, and they took care of you and loved you as their own. So, in my mind, that makes them amazing parents. And, you’re beautiful! You are just so amazing, and I’m so blessed that I can have you and your parents as a part of my life. The Lord is faithful! He promised, and He took care of you.

RR: What advice would you give to other birth mothers looking to place, and other adoptive parents looking to adopt?

MG: For birth mothers…seriously, do your research. Get as much information as you can. Absolutely make sure what the laws are, and your rights. If you have questions, ask. Don’t leave any holes open. This will affect you the rest of your life.

To adoptive parents…protect your heart as much as you can until you know the child is yours. The risk of falling in love with the child, and things falling through is there. Whether the birth mother changes her mind or something else happens. Always be prepared.

Birth Mother Blog

Counseling and Emotional Support for Birth Mothers in Missouri

Counseling and Emotional Support for Birth Mothers in Missouri

By Samara Wiley

Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy can be such an overwhelming time for you. You may feel like you are doing this alone, your circumstances may not fit with being a parent to your child right now. Whether you are pregnant and struggling in life, well into your career, or a second-time expectant mother — remember you are not alone! At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and fully support you throughout your adoption process. We provide free services — including counseling and emotional support for birth mothers in Missouri — to ensure that you have a safe, happy, and positive experience with us. If you’re giving a child up for adoption in Missouri, our experienced adoption counselors can offer you a confidential and private place for you to process your thoughts and feelings about your unexpected pregnancy and the adoption process.

As a birth mother, you have chosen the difficult but wonderful decision of adoption. We understand that you may feel like you are on an emotional roller coaster right now. But you’re in good hands. Here are three amazing resources to help ease your anxiety and bring you comfort as you place your baby for adoption. 

Counseling and Emotional Support for Birth Mothers 

1. One-on-One – At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we offer one-on-one private and personalized counseling sessions. You get to meet with us and discuss your questions or concerns with one of our licensed Birth Parent Counselors. The counselor will first lead you through your three options: parenting, termination, or placing your baby for adoption. If you decide that adoption is the best option for both you and your baby, you will be assigned an adoption caseworker who will assist you every step of the way in your adoption journey. 

2. Support Groups – Finding emotional support will help you feel less alone and help calm your anxiety. Support groups are a great way to do this — especially those created just for birth mothers. You will get to meet other women going through a similar experience — whether they are just getting started in the adoption process, somewhere in the middle, or have already placed their baby up for adoption. This can offer an overwhelming sense of support, comfort, and encouragement as you relate to the women around you. 

3. Birth Mother Retreats Along the same lines, birth mother retreats allow you to share your unique adoption stories and understand your feelings about your own personal adoption story over a weekend or longer period of time. These retreats will help you create lifelong bonds with other birth mothers and establish an inner cycle of comfort, encouragement, and support. After all, you all have a huge, life-changing decision in common — the unselfish sacrifice to give your child a home he or she deserves. 

Questions to Ask During a Counseling Session as a Birth Mother

As a birth mother going through the adoption process, you may have some questions or concerns. For instance, here are three questions that we hear from many of our birth mothers: 

I’m considering adoption for my baby, but…

  1. What will my child think of me? As your child grows up, he or she will come to understand why you placed them up for adoption. Why you chose this decision? If you choose an open or semi-open adoption agreement with your child’s adoptive parents, you will be able to tell your son or daughter that it was because you wanted to give them a better life. That you did this out of love. 
  2. Will I regret my decision? This is an understandable fear that many birth mothers have. As you journey through the adoption process, you will feel the full range of emotions — both positive and negative. One of the negative emotions you feel may include regret. However, know that this is natural and part of the grieving process. It’s ok to feel and process. Adoption, as great as it is, isn’t easy. But, remember, you can always speak with your counselor about any and all emotions you experience.
  3. How do I handle questions about my child’s adoption? You can choose to explain the reasons behind your child’s adoption in any way you want. There are countless ways to answer questions from friends and family, and you shouldn’t feel shame about answering them. At the same time, if there is a question that you feel uncomfortable answering, you are not obligated to. After all, this is your adoption journey. You don’t need to defend your reason for choosing adoption for your child.

Counseling and Emotional Support as a Birth Mother in Missouri

Placing your baby for adoption is an incredibly selfless and brave choice. It’s going to also involve many emotions that you may need help processing. This is perfectly natural! That’s where having that counseling and emotional support as a birth mother comes in handy.

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to provide you with the care that you and your baby need. We will support and guide you through this difficult but rewarding decision in your life. Remember, you are not alone! You and your baby’s well-being is our top priority. It’s never too late to receive the emotional support that you need as a birth mother.

Birth Mother Blog

Financial Assistance for Birth Mothers: Helpful Resources for Adoption in Missouri

Financial Assistance for Birth Mothers: Helpful Resources for Adoption in Missouri

By Zoë Bowlus

If you’re an expectant mother giving a child up for adoption in Missouri, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now. You may be thinking to yourself, “I’m considering adoption for my baby, but I can’t afford an agency.” Now that you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to prioritize your physical and mental health. You need to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby. The last thing you need right now is to be stressed about financial worries. Fortunately, you are not alone. There are many sources of financial assistance for birth mothers. It takes a village to bring a child into this world and, as a birth mother, you have access to plenty of services and programs that will ensure you have a safe, healthy pregnancy and a smooth adoption process. 

If you choose to place your baby for adoption, there are no costs for you. You may even be eligible for financial assistance, depending on your unique circumstances and needs. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will help you get the financial support you need to cover any pregnancy and adoption expenses. 

Financial Assistance through Our Agency

Adoption Choices of Missouri offers services and support for birth mothers at no cost. You will work with an adoption caseworker, your trusted guide, resource, and advocate. They will help you through every step of your pregnancy and adoption journey and are available 24/7 for support. Here are some of the ways they can help: 

  • Making an Adoption Plan: Your adoption caseworker will provide you with all the insight you need to create an adoption plan that suits your needs and preferences. You will be matched with an adoptive family you trust to love and care for your baby. 
  • Medical Care: Your prenatal appointments and any hospital fees will be covered. 
  • Transportation: If you need rides to your doctor’s office or the pharmacy, your adoption caseworker will arrange transportation.
  • Housing: If you find yourself in an unsafe or stressful living situation, your adoption caseworker will make sure you have a safe place to live. 
  • Living Expenses: Your adoption caseworker will help assess your financial situation and make sure you receive the support you need to cover living expenses (e.g. rent, food, maternity clothes, and other court-approved expenses). In many cases, your child’s adoptive parents may help cover some of your living expenses as well.
  • Mental Health Care: Choosing adoption is incredibly brave! You may experience a jumble of emotions throughout your pregnancy and adoption journey, and that’s totally normal. Luckily, Adoption Choices of Missouri offers counseling throughout your pregnancy and post-placement. Your adoption caseworker will be a source of compassion and emotional support. We can also find a birth mother support group for you. 
  • Legal Representation: Your rights as a birth mother will be protected. You don’t have to worry about any legal fees. If you choose to work with an adoption attorney, we will pay his or his fees.  

Financial Assistance through Government and State Programs

There are also government programs designed to support pregnant women. Your adoption caseworker will help you figure out if you’re eligible for any of these programs and walk you through the application process. 

  • Medical Care
  • MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women (Medicaid) or Show-Me Healthy Babies (SMHB) – Through these state programs, you will receive healthcare coverage throughout your entire pregnancy. Prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum services are provided. 
  • Healthy Eating: What you eat while you’re pregnant affects not only your health but also your baby’s health, so getting enough food and eating nutritious foods are important priorities. There are a few different programs that will help you cover the cost of healthy groceries. 
  • WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) – Through WIC, you’ll be able to add healthy foods (e.g. fresh produce, whole wheat bread, eggs) to your diet. A WIC nutritionist will customize a food package that meets your needs. Using your eWIC card (like a debit card), you can shop at approved stores for WIC Approved groceries. 
  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aka Food Stamp Program) – You’ll receive an EBT card loaded with the amount of food stamp benefits you’re approved to receive. Then, you can buy food at an approved SNAP retailer. You can also buy plants and seeds so you can grow your own food. 
  • Safe and Affordable Housing: You may be able to receive reduced rent on an apartment through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Additionally, public housing and housing choice vouchers are available through your local Public Housing Agency (PHA). 
  • Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – If you need help with utilities, this program will help cover your heating bill from November through March. 

It Takes a Village: Financial Assistance for Birth Mothers

If you’re unexpectedly pregnant, it is okay to need help making ends meet throughout your pregnancy. It is okay to be unsure about what you want your adoption journey to look like. Whatever emotions you’re feeling are completely valid. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help or lean on your support network (including your adoption caseworker). You may discover how to access resources that are designed specifically for pregnant women like you. 

There are many options for financial assistance for birth mothers. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we’re here for you, whether we are providing you with our agency’s free services or helping you sign up for government programs. Your and your baby’s best interests, health, nutrition, and safety come first.