Birth Mother Blog

Important Facts to Know When You’re Considering Transracial Adoption for You and Your Baby in Missouri

Important Facts to Know When You’re Considering Transracial Adoption for You and Your Baby in Missouri

One of the many foundations and values America prides itself on is diversity. The heritage the land is built on spans all across the continent and crosses the ocean into worlds we have yet to see.

Historically, transracial adoption was extremely rare and seen as a risky thing to do. The community, along with the rest of the world, has progressed greatly from those times and remembered the core value of adoption: family.

Love and family transcends all barriers of race and should not be a hindrance in the adoption process.

Adoption Choices of Missouri welcomes birth mothers and families of all colors and backgrounds. If you are currently considering transracial adoption, we’re going to share some insight on what exactly transracial adoption is and hopefully provide some words of encouragement.

A Piece of History regarding Transracial Adoption

Firstly, let’s give it a definition: transracial adoption is the placement of a baby or child within a family of a different race/culture.

Take a moment to look with me back to the 1950s, the midst of the baby boomer era. Recall the old cartoons, emergence of the vintage fashion we celebrate today. Transracial adoption was virtually an unheard of thing and especially uncommon to see amongst the adoption community.

Around those times and progressing into the ‘60s, marking the civil rights movement, did transracial adoption really gain some traction.

Prior to the ‘60s, during the World War era, it was standard protocol to “race match” or simply place the child within an adoptive family of their same race. In the following decade, the number of transracial adoptions only peaked around 12,000. The shift was caused by several coalitions of both legal and community members who saw that children in need of families should not miss the opportunity of a better home simply because they were not “race matched.” It was identified that this disproportionately affected black children/children of color in particular. The number of transracial adoptions has increased by more than 50% in today’s time.

Transracial families and children of color being adopted outside their race is higher like never before.

Why is There a Stigma against Transracial Adoption?

The conflicts between race and oppression have a lifespan of several centuries, even after the apparent resistance and movements made to combat racism, there is still much work done to eradicate it.

Much of the stigma stems from knowing that having a transracial adoptive family comes with its unique set of challenges. For some, those challenges are too big to properly address or they do not have the necessary tools to handle it correctly. There are many out there who would object to placing a child into the care of a family that is of a different race or cultural background. The arguments for this mostly range that it is unfair and morally wrong to do such a thing because the child misses out on culture-distinguishing moments that they would normally find within their own racial communities.

The opponents of transracial adoption believe there are needs and race-specific care taking that only members of the same ethnic or culturally-matched group members can provide. To take those things away is to take away the tools needed to develop their identity.

Another issue also comes from potential criticism that a transracial family may face not only from members of their own racial community, but those outside of it as well. It can be awkward and, at the worst, dangerous for transracial adoptive families to be seen with a child of a different race because of perplexing or dirty looks they may encounter.

Even to this day, there are still debates and battles over it. There are those who feel strongly that it is detrimental to a child’s upbringing to be “race-matched” because it helps with their identity and it is simply the right thing to do. On the other side, it is believed that those tools are not forgotten and can still be passed along even if the race of the child is different from that of the parents.

Race is Not a Barrier, But a Bridge with Transracial Adoption

The truth of the matter is this, love for a child goes beyond skin color and heritage. It breaks down every man made wall that was put there and overcomes all forms of hatred or stigmatization placed on it.

When a birth mother chooses to place her baby for adoption, she does because it’s within the best interest of not only her baby, but for herself too. The most important thing throughout the whole adoption process is for the child to find a loving home so they can grow up happy and healthy.

If you are a birth mother who is thinking of choosing a transracial adoptive family for your baby, Adoption Choices of Missouri will provide you with all the information and resources you’ll need when you’re considering transracial adoption to help out. We’ve also passed along the benefits of transracial adoption to give further encouragement.

For all things adoption, find us here and let’s get started on your own adoption plan.

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: My name is Alexander Charles Cooper, I come from a family of four that originates from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I, along with my younger brother Greyson were born in North Carolina, three years after my parents had wed and moved to the state. Alexander shares his birthday with Maya Angelou, which he takes great pride in.

Growing up, Alexander had the privilege of having both parents in his life and a stable upbringing in which he was surrounded by family and friends. He believes that much of his family foundation is built on faith which has given him a discipline and practice that has allowed him to discover and build his spiritual self. He is also interested in politics and worldly news that allows him to excel in American literature, philosophy/ethics, and higher learning.

From that, his passion in writing bloomed and he found his true calling: “I wished to create and write for a living and know it will be what makes me happiest. My only wish is for me to bring about positive change for others both near and far and leave a lasting legacy that contributes to the overall wellbeing and joy of others.”

Birth Mother Blog

The Top 5 Tips to Use to Communicate in an Open Adoption for a Birth Mother 

The Top 5 Tips to Use to Communicate in an Open Adoption for a Birth Mother 

Communication is an essential tool to have as a birth mother as you navigate down the path of adoption. Having open communication with your child’s adoptive parents will help you. This way, you can build lifelong bonds between your child and their adoptive parents in your adoption journey.

Now, communication in an open adoption can be difficult as you don’t want to overstep your birth parent role. With the help of our agency, Adoption Choices of Missouri, we have listed the top 5 tips that can help you better communicate in your open adoption.

Ways to Communicate in an Open Adoption for a Birth Mother 

  1. Use Positive Adoption Language

Adoption has many terms that you will hear and come across through your adoption journey. You may listen to them speak to you or about you. As a birth mother, you will probably listen to questions like, “Why did you give your child up?” A critical response would be not to answer this question; however, the positive way to answer this question is to say, “I placed my child up for adoption to give him or her a better life.”

Using positive adoption language is so important for you as a birth mother. It will help you embrace your adoption choice and help you heal during the painful moments with positive emotions surrounding your adoption. This will also provide you with a positive way to form a bond with your birth child, adoptive parents, and adoptive community.

  1. Use All Social Media Platforms 

Having social media accounts is a great way to keep in touch with your birth child and his or her adoptive parents. Social media pages, like Facebook and Instagram, are great platforms to share photos of you and your child’s precious moments with your child’s adoptive family, if given permission. They are also great ways to share your personal adoption story and become an advocate for why adoption is such an important decision to make.

  1. Embrace Changes to Your Adoption Plan

Whether you are just beginning your adoption or your adoption is already finalized, changes between you and your child’s adoptive family may occur. For instance, they may move to another state, and communication may be less for a time. Make sure to be open and honest about the changes in your birth child’s life and how you want to approach and tackle these things when speaking with your child’s adoptive parents. The better prepared you are for these upcoming changes means the more positive reaction you have towards the situation and the future interactions between you and the adoptive family.

  1. Set Boundaries for your Adoption 

As a birth mother, you may want to set boundaries for your adoption. Letting the adoptive parents know how involved you will be in your child’s life, is a great way to is a great way to all stay on the same page. It is also a good thing to let the adoptive parents know that you will work with them to help your birth child succeed in life.

Setting boundaries between you, your child, the adoptive parents can be a bit challenging. Navigating the different communication relationships can cause a bit of chaos. But, your thoughts and level of openness matters. As a birth mother, you and the adoptive mother may communicate daily or sometimes very little; however, that does not mean that the adoptive parents do not value your parenting input.  Remember, you still have a say in some of the decisions when it comes to your child, as you are still an important part of your birth child’s life.

  1. Keep Open Communication with the Adoptive Parents

Having open communication between you and your child’s adoptive parents is as important as your relationship with you and your child as they grow and move forward through the years. Keeping an open mind when communicating your thoughts or concerns to your child’s adoptive parents reassures them that you are free to every type of conversation and that you have a valued opinion on certain things regarding your child. Also, no matter if you disagree on certain things, you will be understanding and open to suggestions and listen with an open heart. Communication is the key to a positive adoption as a whole.

Open Communication for Birth Mothers in an Open Adoption 

As a birth mother, communication can happen more or less with you and your birth child’s family. Depending on your comfort level, you can use any communication tools that feel comfortable to you. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we understand how difficult and rewarding the choice of adoption is for you as a birth mother. In saying this, you deserve a voice as another parent to your birth child.

Open communication will provide you with a sense of belonging and peace in developing an open and honest relationship where you will be valued and give support throughout your adoption journey.

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

The Top 3 Benefits of Adoption for Adoptees

The Top 3 Benefits of Adoption for Adoptees

If you are a birth mother in Missouri, you’re probably busy making adoption plans and preparations for your pregnancy. You have made a decision that is best for you and have read about the many benefits of adoption for birth mothers. Maybe now you’re wondering — What about my birth child? Will they be okay? 

In answer — yes! There are many wonderful benefits of adoption for adoptees.

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, our top priorities are the safety and comfort of you and your baby. Our staff is more than happy to help address any questions or concerns you have about the safety and wellbeing of your child post-adoption.

1. Your Child will Experience a Stable Home

One of the benefits of adoption for your birth child is the chance for them to grow up in a stable home environment. Each birth mother has her own unique reason for beginning her adoption journey. If you are worried about your ability to provide stability for your child, you can rest assured that any adoptive family you select will be able to do so.

At our adoption agency, you will have the opportunity to look through our extensive portfolios of prospective adoptive families before making a selection. Each adoptive family is required to undergo background checks and home visits to ensure that they are fully prepared and dedicated for parenthood. These screenings also help ensure that any adoptive family you choose will have the financial and emotional means to provide stability for your child.

What is the importance of a stable home for a child? There are endless answers. Children flourish when they have the opportunity to discover themselves in a safe environment. Structure and routine can play an essential role in productive day-to-day activities such as completing and returning homework, making new friends and eating nourishing meals.

2. Your Child will Be Loved 

For many adoptive families, the road to raising a child of their own has been rocky. The opportunity to adopt your child is a life-changing event for them and can be the source of much joy and celebration. Experiencing a childhood full of love and support will help your child blossom and will only add to their daily happiness.

Keep in mind we are certainly not questioning or challenging your own love for your child. We understand that choosing adoption, in no way, insinuates that your love for your child is less than the love he or she will receive from their adoptive family. However, it can be helpful to remember that your child’s adoptive family will love and appreciate them greatly each and every day.

If you are still experiencing worry or doubt about the kind of love or treatment that your child will experience with their adoptive family, you can always reach out for some help. Adoption Choices of Missouri offers free counseling services before, during and post adoption, which can provide a safe space to discuss any worries or fears that you are still holding on to.

3. More Opportunities will Be Open to Your Child

Adoptees often find themselves presented with multitudes of different opportunities as they grow older. These opportunities can range from academic to emotional in nature. Your child may excel in school due to having the space to study and ask questions. They may build lifelong friendships or relationships that blossom into partnerships, business or otherwise. Perhaps they find their passion through having the freedom to try as many things as they want before settling on something.

Whatever the opportunities are that open up for your child, chances are they will be life-altering (in a good way). Given time, support and love, your child can become capable of so many creative and inspiring things. Choosing adoption can ensure that your child has the opportunities that will help them discover themselves and grow into thoughtful and kind adults.

Benefits of Adoption for Adoptees

These are just a few of the benefits of adoption for adoptees. There are so many children who grow up in an adoptive family and experience all kinds of love and support. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will guide you along your adoption journey. Our goal is to provide education and support so that you can feel confident in every step of your journey.

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: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie.

She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.

Birth Mother Blog

I’m 15 and Pregnant – Help!

I’m 15 and Pregnant – Help!

Being fifteen isn’t always easy. There is so much going on, and sometimes it can all feel pretty overwhelming. If you are 15 and pregnant, then things could be even more complicated. You’ve probably got a lot of different feelings running around inside you right now, and that’s completely natural. The important thing to remember is that you are not alone and that you do have support available to you.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you navigate these uncharted waters. Our staff is available to answer questions and provide resources and support. If you are wondering what to do next, here are some helpful tips.

Find the Support Available to You if You’re 15 and Pregnant 

Facing emotional and life-changing events alone can be almost impossible. If you have recently found out that you are pregnant, confide in someone that you can trust. They can be a friend, a family member or anyone you feel safe with.

Sharing your news can have a number of positive benefits. For one, you will have someone to confide your feelings in. Pregnancy can be an emotional journey and you will have some big decisions to make; so, it can be helpful to have someone to talk to. Additionally, this person can help you make decisions and be your support throughout your pregnancy.

If you don’t have someone in your life who you can trust, come to our adoption agency. We welcome birth mothers of all ages and backgrounds. We will pair you with an adoption caseworker who can be your support and guide you through your available options.

Inform Your Parents or Guardians of Your Teenage Pregnancy

This part may seem very intimidating or downright scary. Depending on your individual situation, your parents or guardians may have different reactions. While it might seem tempting to put this conversation off for as long as you can, it won’t be possible to delay forever. Eventually, your baby bump will begin to show and it will become clear that you are pregnant. Additionally, your parents or guardians may be able to help with financial and emotional decisions in the long-run.

Preparing exactly what you are going to say can also be helpful. This will likely be a difficult conversation, but planning for it will help alleviate some of the anxiety. If you have a trusted friend, practice out loud with them. Remember, no matter your parents’ reactions, you deserve kindness and support as you begin this journey.

Create an Adoption Plan for Your Teenage Pregnancy 

You have three options available to you moving forward. You can choose to place your baby for adoption, raise your child, or terminate your pregnancy. There is no right choice, only the one that is best for you.

If you choose to place your baby for adoption, your first step will be to schedule an initial meeting at Adoption Choices of Missouri. We will pair you with an adoption caseworker who will be your guide throughout your adoption journey. There are many benefits to choosing adoption, including the ability to select your child’s adoptive family, receive financial support (if you are eligible) and remain in contact with your child if you choose.

Another option available to you is to raise your child. This is a life-long commitment and comes with its own unique challenges and rewards. You will need to think about details regarding finances, home environment and your own life ambitions.

Finally, you can choose to have an abortion. If you are considering this option, you will need to make a decision before you are twenty-two weeks pregnant. After that time, abortions are illegal in the state of Missouri. You can google nearby clinics in your area or, if you have healthcare, you can have the procedure done at your doctor’s office.

Whichever road you take, there will be many heavy emotions and big decisions to make along the way. Reach out for support whenever you need it. If you don’t have the support of your friends or family, try googling support groups in your area. There are many different groups dedicated to created a safe space for birth mothers, teenage mothers or women and girls going through an abortion. Our adoption agency also offers counseling services throughout your pregnancy, the adoption process and post adoption as well.

15 and Pregnant – Help! 

The most important things to remember if you are 15 and pregnant are that you are not alone and you deserve kindness and support. Confide in the people around you who will love and care for you no matter what. If someone is not treating you well, find support elsewhere. Our staff at Adoption Choices of Missouri are always available to help. Our top goal is to make sure that you begin your adoption journey in a confident, safe and educated way.

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: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie.

She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.

Birth Mother Blog

Getting Help with Your Teen Pregnancy: Why You Should Consider Adoption if You are 16 and Pregnant in Missouri

Getting Help with Your Teen Pregnancy: Why You Should Consider Adoption if You are 16 and Pregnant in Missouri

An unplanned pregnancy is difficult at any age, and being sixteen is already hard enough as it is. But when you combine the two? It is definitely a difficult and emotional journey. No wonder there are so many movies and TV shows that try to depict what being sixteen and pregnant is like.

Except that your unexpected pregnancy  isn’t just some movie like Juno or some reality TV show like 16 and Pregnant. This is your life, and this is really happening. You’re a real person, not just some statistic or overly-dramatized scripted character. That’s exactly why Adoption Choices of Missouri is here for you.

Whether or Not You Choose Adoption, Do Not Wait to Seek Help as a Pregnant Teenager

So, you’re sixteen and pregnant in Missouri. What happens next? That’s up to you. The first thing you should do is inform your parents or legal guardian and schedule a doctor’s appointment.

Telling your parents and going to a doctor’s appointment is probably the last thing you want to deal with right now. But the quicker you get telling them out of the way, the quicker you can get any supplemental care or prenatal treatment you may need. And the quicker you can get the information you need to make a decision on whether you would like to pursue parenting, abortion, or adoption.

The longer you wait to speak with someone and decide what you would like to do, the more your other options will be closed off to you. For example, in Missouri, abortion is only legal up to 22 weeks from your last menstrual period. Even if you do decide to keep the baby and go ahead with parenting, waiting longer will only mean less time to save money and buy important items that the baby will need. Although you can choose adoption at any point in your pregnancy, even up until you are in the delivery room, you will not have as much time to look through prospective adoptive family portfolios and choose the right adoptive family for you.

The Top 5 Reasons to Choose Adoption if You are 16 and Pregnant in Missouri

 

  • Your Voice will Be Heard. Your consent comes first. You are the one in charge here. As the birth mother, you will have the final decision over every aspect of the adoption process. From choosing adoption in the first place and deciding what type of adoption suits you, all the way to picking out an adoptive family and making your birth plan, yours is the absolute and final say. Your adoption caseworker will work with you and make sure that you are comfortable with everything that is happening and that your wishes are being met throughout your entire adoption plan.
  • Financial and Medical Assistance. Stress is bad for expectant mothers and their babies, and you should not have to stress yourself out trying to make ends meet or afford medical care while you are pregnant. There are many forms of financial and medical assistance available to you through adoption. Your adoption caseworker will help you every step of the way to make sure that all of your basic needs are met. Assistance may take many different forms, including but not limited to: safe housing, transportation, groceries, medical care, and legal representation. The sooner you get in touch with us, the sooner we can begin working to provide you with any financial aid or relief you may need.
  • Different Types of Adoption to Choose From. Adoption is more than just the process of picking out an adoptive family and giving birth. It is about your life during post-placement too. You get to choose the level of involvement you would like in your baby’s life after the adoption process. You have the option of choosing between an open, closed, or semi-open adoption. Closed adoption is the type of adoption that gets more heavily portrayed in the media, and it means that you are not involved and do not maintain contact after the adoption process is over. However, open adoption allows you to keep in touch with your baby and the adoptive family throughout your lives so that you can still get to know the person he or she grows up to be. Semi-open adoption falls between those two, usually relying more on written correspondence like letters or emails.
  • Support Counseling. Not only is Postpartum Depression a real and serious condition, but it is also realistic to expect that you will experience some level of uncertainty and grief over such a life-changing decision. Counseling and emotional support  is yet another resource we provide to help with adjusting to life throughout the adoption process and during post-placement afterwards. We are not just here to help with the financial struggles and paperwork. We understand that you may need help with everything you are going through emotionally as well.
  • You and Your Baby can Both Live Your Best Life. You and your baby should both be able to live your best life. But that might not necessarily mean living it together. And that’s ok. We like to say that adoption is not “giving up” your baby. Instead, you are placing your baby for adoption in a loving home so that he or she can have the best opportunities in life. Raising a baby is difficult at any age, but at sixteen you already have so much on your plate and so much to look forward to in life. You want to be sure that your baby will be provided with all the time, attention, and constant care that a baby requires. Adoption is a selfless act of love, not a selfish one.

Choosing Adoption is Always Your Decision, Even as a Pregnant Teenager in Missouri

Being a teenager can be so frustrating. Your parents and teachers always think they know what’s best for you and try to tell you what to do like you’re still a little kid, but you’re almost legally an adult. You’re even old enough to drive now. You may be sixteen and pregnant in Missouri, but this is your baby. That’s why it’s important that you are the one who makes this decision. If you are considering adoption, know that you will be in charge of every aspect of your adoption plan. Don’t wait until it’s too late and time makes the decision for you, contact Adoption Choices of Missouri today to find out if adoption is right for you.

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: Kelly Felix is a graduate from the University of New Orleans. She holds a BA in English as well as a BA in Sociology. Her English concentration is in journalism, and her specialties in sociology are gender studies and environmental sociology.

When she isn’t voraciously guzzling coffee or devouring books, Kelly can be found either bent over a canvas working on her art or at her computer playing video games. She has hands-on classroom teaching experience from her time working as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services. Kelly also completed an in-house editorial internship at Pelican Publishing Company, and she finished the goal internship program at Green Light New Orleans. Kelly generally exists in a state of suspended disbelief, but when she’s not there she resides in New Orleans.

Birth Mother Blog

Benefits of Transracial Adoption for Birth Mothers in Missouri

Benefits of Transracial Adoption for Birth Mothers in Missouri

Love is truly a rainbow. A spectrum of all colors and hues that the eye can see. It takes shape in many forms and sometimes can be found in the most unlikely of places. We will not deny that having a transracial adoptive family comes with its own set of unique obstacles and challenges, but the advantages and benefits from it make it all the more worth it.

Adoption Choices of Missouri has some insight on what makes transracial adoptive families so special, and the many, many rewards it offers to both child and birth mother.

Diversity is Important in a Home with Transracial Adoption

The world is such a colorful place. One filled with so many stories, traditions, and customs that are carried by the people in it. Exposure or in the least, acknowledgement of these differences in people helps broaden the mind of both your child and the transracial adoptive family you’ve placed him or her in the care of.

Be it in a closed or open adoption, there is an exchange of history and culture when a baby is placed in a transracial home. Everything from their skin color to how they walk, the clothes they wear, the music they listen to, is now added to your own life as well. When having this exchange of culture, you may have opportunities to broaden your own horizons on some things that you enjoy and, potentially, venture into new adventures.

A multiracial and multicultural home makes it all the easier to embrace those said differing traditions or customs. The early exposure of these differences is great for a child’s identity, and knowing that the world is so big and that the lives leading it are even bigger. It eliminates any possibility of developing stereotypes or prejudice when children learn about its beauty.

Those negative emotions being deterred are just one of many benefits of transracial adoption that both child and birth mother are given in the adoption journey.

Diversity in the Home Teaches Empathy with Transracial Adoption

It would be wrong to deny a child the conversation about race. It would be wrong to deliberately avoid the discussion that needs to be had in regard to racial or societal injustices that marginalized groups face on a daily basis. The challenges people have endured not only in our own community, but also around the world, is a lesson within itself that anyone can take and learn from.

Taking the time to acknowledge those struggles teaches you and your child that there are certainly some privileges others face that look like you, and they may be disadvantages to others who do not — and vice versa. Children are naturally curious and inquisitive. They want to know why things are the way they are. They want to know the history of things, and how they got to where they are now. The empathy comes when they are given the hard truth and stories of adversity marginalized groups have faced over the course of several years, and what those same groups are doing to improve their livelihood.

The benefits of transracial adoption not only challenges your perspective on how you see the world, but also opens doors in how you can positively impact those around you. The first step is educating yourself and learning the reality of things. When doing so, your empathy and understanding of that reality grows. You learn how to combat those same prejudices certain races and people face everyday.

Transracial Adoption Bridges and Networks Different Communities

One of the core foundations of a loving home and a pillar of the adoption community is unity. During the adoption process, birth mothers are reminded that they are the key in creating families. That they wield the power of putting their child in a loving and healthy home, even if it is not with them. Such a selfless act of love like that alone is enough to bring peoples and worlds together that were separate at one point.

You shatter and break the stigma of having multiracial homes and become part of the force to make it the norm, and not something to be feared. Placing your baby in a transracial adoptive family brings so many chances of new connections that you never would’ve thought of.

Those connections can be anything from trying different culturally available foods, experiencing and listening to different world wide artists from across the globe, or even taking the time to deep-dive into places outside of your own comfort zone. The benefits of transracial adoption gives so many chances to forge new links and make new relationships that reach different people.

The Benefits of Transracial Adoption

Do not be afraid to go beyond your own race when placing your baby into the care of another family. The bottom line, and the most important thing of all, is for your child to be raised happily and healthy. That’s what matters — not skin color.

For all things adoption, find us here and let’s get started on your adoption plan.

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: My name is Alexander Charles Cooper, I come from a family of four that originates from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I, along with my younger brother Greyson were born in North Carolina, three years after my parents had wed and moved to the state. Alexander shares his birthday with Maya Angelou, which he takes great pride in.

Growing up, Alexander had the privilege of having both parents in his life and a stable upbringing in which he was surrounded by family and friends. He believes that much of his family foundation is built on faith which has given him a discipline and practice that has allowed him to discover and build his spiritual self. He is also interested in politics and worldly news that allows him to excel in American literature, philosophy/ethics, and higher learning.

From that, his passion in writing bloomed and he found his true calling: “I wished to create and write for a living and know it will be what makes me happiest. My only wish is for me to bring about positive change for others both near and far and leave a lasting legacy that contributes to the overall wellbeing and joy of others.”

Birth Mother Blog

Three Options for Adoption: What You Should know as a Birth Mother

Three Options for Adoption: What You Should know as a Birth Mother

As a birth mother beginning your adoption journey, there are many things to consider when placing your child up for adoption. Some of the important factors include choosing your birth child’s adoptive parents and deciding how involved you want to be in their lives. The first choice you make as a birth mother would be what kind of adoption option will fit you and your baby.

At our adoption agency, Adoption Choices of Missouri, we offer domestic newborn and infant adoptions with three different types of adoption – semi-open, open and closed adoption.These three options for adoption and levels of openness will help you decide what kind of life you have envisioned for you and your child.

Domestic Adoption using Our Adoption Agency 

Domestic adoption is an adoption that happens within the United States. While other adoption agencies may offer international adoption, our adoption center in Missouri focuses only on placements across the country.  Placing your baby for adoption within the U.S. gives you the freedom to select your child’s adoptive parents and have a chance to get to know them before your child is born, depending on the type of adoption you pick.

Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to support you and take care of your needs — as well as your baby’s. We let you decide what kind of adoption plan you desire, and let you control your adoption journey overall. You will be assigned an adoption caseworker who will be there to answer any questions you have along the way. We will also provide free resources for you, like financial assistance and counseling services. From the moment you find out you’re expecting, through pre-placement to post-placement to months down the adoption road, we will help guide you through every step of your adoption journey. With no judgment and open arms, we will make sure your adoption process is a positive experience.

Newborn Adoption with Our Adoption Agency

Newborn adoption typically occurs while a birth mother is still pregnant, but it can also happen shortly after she’s giving birth to her baby. This option is best for birth mothers who need or want more time to plan and prepare for the baby’s arrival.

If you decide to choose adoption for your baby early on during your pregnancy, you generally have nine months to prepare. This time frame, however, can vary, depending on several factors. You’ll want to be sure that you consult your doctor and healthcare team about this, and attend routine prenatal appointments to ensure you and your baby remain healthy throughout the pregnancy. That said, it’s always better to create your adoption plan sooner rather than later. This will not only help your stress level, but it will also give you ample support and guidance from your selected adoption agency.

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will provide you with the support and care you need throughout your adoption journey. Throughout those nine months, you as a birth mother will be able to speak with a birth parent caseworker, create your desired adoption plan, communicate and meet with the adoptive parents, and choose to interact with your child based on your comfort level.

Infant Adoption with Our Adoption Agency

Infant adoption is the process a birth mother would go through if she were to place her baby for adoption when her child is between the ages of one to twelve months. Oftentimes, birth mothers who are in the midst of labor can also choose an infant adoption. While this adoption process is almost identical to newborn adoption, you may find that infant adoption moves a bit quicker — especially if the baby is already born and you’ve decided you don’t want to raise him or her.

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will make sure that you will still have the support and guidance you deserve as a birth mother if you choose this option. Because whether your circumstances change, or you find that you are just not ready financially or mentally to parent your child, you still deserve to do the right thing for yourself and your baby. As aforementioned, infant adoption involves going through the same adoption process as with newborn adoption. The only difference is that your birth child may already be born, or you may be in the middle of giving birth.

Adoption Options for New Birth Mothers 

We understand that, as a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy who has decided on adoption, you did not make your decision lightly. Choosing adoption is such a hard, rewarding decision, and we commend you for your selflessness, love and bravery.

Adoption is a wonderful choice, and, despite having its painful moments, your decision to choose a better life for you and your child shows just how deeply you care for your child. We hope that providing you with these three options for adoption has given you a good starting point for your adoption journey. If you have more questions, or are ready to begin the adoption process, know that you can reach us via phone, email, text or our online contact form.

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

How to Support a Birth Mother through the Missouri Adoption Process

How to Support a Birth Mother through the Missouri Adoption Process

Facing life-changing events or making large emotional decisions alone can be difficult, if not impossible. Having the right kind of support through life’s big moments can make a world of difference. If you know a birth mother who is on her adoption journey, it is likely that she will benefit from your love and support.

You might be asking yourself what kind of resources are out there to help you support the birth mother in your life. You’ve come to the right place! Adoption Choices of Missouri has put together this resource to give you tips on how to support a birth mother through the adoption process.

  • Educate Yourself about Adoption 

A great place to start when offering your support to the birth mother in your life is to educate yourself about adoption. Schedule a visit at Adoption Choices of Missouri and pick up some information. Our staff are a wonderful resource. Not only are they very welcoming, they are also well-educated and happy to share any helpful resources with you. You can also browse the web for helpful information about the details of adoption and what your friend may be facing as she completes her adoption journey.

  • Listen to the Birth Mother’s Adoption Plans with an Open Mind

Placing your baby for adoption is a life-changing and emotional journey. While the birth mother in your life is going through this, one of the best ways you can support her is to listen. Practice listening openly and without judgement. If you are too critical of what she shares, chances are she won’t feel safe enough to confide in you again. Reserve your judgement and operate from a place of openness and curiosity. Ask questions when it is appropriate. Remember, if she has chosen to place her baby for adoption, that means that it is the choice that is best for her and her child.

  • Offer to Attend Doctor’s Appointments with Her

If you are close enough with her, offer to go to her doctor’s appointments with her. It can be comforting to have support during these visits. Having a friend to share the information or make the commute with can be helpful. If she’d prefer to go alone, respect her decision. If her doctor’s office does not allow extra visitors because of COVID-19 related precautions, you can always be supportive by asking questions and listening post-visit.

  • Find Birth Mother Support Groups in the Area

While it is important for a birth mother to have supportive friends and family to confide in, it can be extremely helpful for them to share with other women who are on a similar adoption journey. There are many groups that offer a safe space for birth mothers to share their stories with each other and offer support and guidance. Try googling some in your area and recommending them to the birth mom in your life. Remember, the goal is for her to feel comfortable and safe being vulnerable. If she doesn’t feel this way, she can always try attending a new group later on.

  • Discuss Adoption Counseling Options 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, all birth mothers have access to counseling throughout their adoption journey and post-placement as well. Your friend’s adoption caseworker will provide her with more information on her counseling options. If for any reason, she would like to continue with counseling outside of the services that we provide, you can talk through her options with her.

Finding counseling services for yourself may also be an option. Being a friend’s support system through an emotional journey can be exhausting. If you feel emotionally tired or need to discuss some of your feelings in a safe and confidential environment, seeking counseling can provide that space for you. Remember, the goal is to provide your friend with the support that she needs. In order to be there for her, you must also take care of your own mental and physical health as well.

Supporting a Birth Mother through the MO Adoption Process

Giving support requires love, empathy and patience. There are many resources available to help you provide the birth mom in your life with the help that she needs. If you need more resources, Adoption Choices of Missouri is happy to assist you. Our top priority is to make your friend’s adoption journey smooth, comfortable and safe. We understand that you, as her support system, are a big part of that journey and are eager to help.

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: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie.

She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.

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2020 Adoption Tax Credit

With the tax filing season quickly approaching, the Internal Revenue Service recommends taxpayers take time now to determine if they are eligible for important tax credits. Many of our adoptive families will be applying for the Adoption Tax Credit. With that in mind, we have compiled some basic information about the 2020 adoption tax credit

Adoption Tax Credit 101

If you have done any research into adoption financing, you’ve probably heard about the Federal Adoption Tax Credit. But what exactly is this credit, and how does it work?

The Federal Adoption Tax Credit is a non-refundable tax credit that helps families offset the costs of qualifying adoption expenses. Families who paid qualifying adoption expenses in 2020, and owe taxes, may be eligible to benefit from this credit. For adoptions finalized in 2020, there is a federal adoption tax credit of up to $14,300 per child. The 2020 adoption tax credit is NOT refundable, which means taxpayers can only use the credit if they have federal income tax liability.

Parents who are adopting from the U.S. and claiming qualified adoption expenses can claim the credit the year of finalization or the year after they spent the funds. Parents who adopt a child with special needs and are not basing their request on expenses should claim the credit the year of finalization. Parents who adopt internationally cannot claim the credit until the year of finalization.

The credit applies one time for each adopted childand should be claimed when taxpayers file taxes for 2020.

To be eligible for the credit, parents must:

  • Have adopted a child other than a stepchild — A child must be either under 18 or be physically or mentally unable to take care of him or herself.
  • Be within the income limits — Income affects how much of the credit parents can claim. In 2020, families with a modified adjusted gross income below $214,520 can claim full credit. Those with incomes from $214,520 to $254,520can claim partial credit, and those with incomes above $254,520 cannot claim the credit.

According to the IRS, “qualified adoption expenses” can include items like:

  • Reasonable and necessary adoption fees
  • Court costs and attorney fees
  • Traveling expenses related to adoption
  • Other expenses that are directly related to and for the principal purpose of the legal adoption of an eligible child

If you’re not sure whether you are eligible to use the adoption tax credit or if you paid qualifying adoption expenses in 2020, a tax professional will be able to provide more information.

How Much is the 2020 Adoption Tax Credit?

The amount families are eligible to receive from the Federal Adoption Tax Credit depends on a number of factors and will vary based on their unique situation. Families who finalize the adoption of a child with special needs in 2020 and fulfill the eligibility requirements above, can claim the full credit of $14,300 whether or not they had any expenses.

Other adopters can claim a credit based on their qualified adoption expenses, which are the reasonable and necessary expenses paid to complete the adoption that have not been reimbursed by anyone else. If the expenses are less than $14,080, the adopters claim only the amount of those expenses. However, if the expenses exceed $14,300, the adopters can claim up to, but no more than, $14,300, per child.

The Adoption Tax Credit limit is based on modified adjusted gross income(MAGI) and is recalculated each year based on current cost of living. Income affects how much of the credit parents can claim. For the 2020 Adoption Tax Credit, families with a MAGI below $211,160 can claim full credit. Those with incomes from $211,160 to $251,160 can claim partial credit, and those with incomes above $251,160 cannot claim the credit. The tax credit starts to phase out for families with modified adjusted gross income in excess of $214,520, and is completely phased out for families with modified adjusted gross income of $254,520 or more.

Adoption and taxes can be complicated, and you will likely have questions about the tax benefits available in your specific situation. While we hope you find the information in this post helpful, keep in mind that Adoption Choices does not offer tax advice. Talk to a tax professional for more specific information about how the Adoption Tax Credit can benefit your family.

Interaction with the Child Tax Credit

The Child Tax Credit changed in 2018. The amount is now $2,000 per child, but only $1,400 of it can become the refundable additional child tax credit (dependent on the family’s earned income), with the remaining $600 a non-refundable Child Tax Credit.  This credit will supersede the adoption tax credit when reducing the tax liability.

To determine the amount of the Child Tax Credit and Additional Child Tax Credit a family uses, a family must complete the Child Tax Credit Worksheet in IRS Publication 972.  Software and tax preparers will automatically calculate these amounts.

Taxpayers who can answer “Yes” on the last line of the Child Tax Credit Worksheet may be eligible for the Additional Child Tax Credit, which is a refundable credit (meaning they can claim the credit regardless of their tax liability). To claim the Additional Child Tax Credit, parents must complete IRS Schedule 8812.

How Much Taxpayers Will Benefit

How much, if any, of the adoption tax credit a parent will receive depends on their federal income tax liability in 2020 (and the next five years). In one year, taxpayers can use as much of the credit as the full amount of their federal income tax liability, which is the amount on line 11 of the Form 1040 less certain other credits (see Child Tax Credit above). Even those who normally get a refund may still have tax liability and could get a larger refund with the adoption tax credit. Taxpayers have six years (the year they first claimed the credit plus five additional years) to use the credit.

People who do not have federal income tax liability will not benefit this year. We encourage them to claim the credit and carry it forward to future years since the credit may become refundable again in the future.

Claiming the Adoption Tax Credit

To claim the credit, taxpayers will complete a 2020 version of IRS Form 8839 (available at irs.gov in early 2021) and submit it with their Form 1040 when they file their 2020 taxes. Most tax software will create this form for you. Before filing, taxpayers should review 2020 Form 8839 instructions (will also be available at www.irs.gov) very carefully to be sure that they apply for the credit correctly and to see if anything has changed. The instructions are needed to calculate how much of the credit will be used.

When claiming the adoption tax credit, you’ll want to be ready with documents such as:

  • The final adoption decree
  • A placement agreement from an authorized agency
  • Court documents
  • A state’s determination for special-needs children, if applicable

 

This is a lot of information, and you probably have more questions about the tax credit for adopting a child in your specific situation. Adoption Choices does not offer tax advice and recommends that you talk to your tax professional for specific information on how the Adoption Tax Credit can benefit your family.

Birth Mother Blog

13 and Pregnant in MO – Help!

13 and Pregnant in MO – Help!

Sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan. When that happens, it is important to remember to take a second to breathe and to think about all the support that you have available.  If you are 13 and pregnant, the most important thing to remember is that you are not alone. If you don’t have supportive friends or family to turn to, the staff at Adoption Choices of Missouri are kind and welcoming. We will be happy to answer your questions and provide you with guidance.

There are probably so many thoughts and feelings swirling around inside you at the moment. That is completely natural. Making a plan can help calm these feelings and create stability in your daily life. Here are some steps you can take.

  1. Find Support throughout Your Pregnancy 

This is a life-changing event, and it’s okay to be scared or worried. Finding the right support will ensure that you have someone to lean on throughout your unplanned pregnancy. If you have supportive friends or family, confide in them. If you don’t, feel free to reach out to our welcoming staff at Adoption Choices of Missouri.

Additionally, try googling support groups in your area. There are many groups dedicated to providing a safe space for birth moms or pregnant teenagers. It can be relieving to connect with others who are going through a similar experience to yourself. There are also many anonymous hotlines that can offer you advice or direct you to helpful and free resources.

  1. Consider Your Three Options

One option for your pregnancy is to choose to place your baby for adoption. Choosing adoption has many benefits for you and your baby. You will have the ability to select your child’s adoptive family. Choosing adoption also means that you can stay in contact with your child if you’d like. You will also have the opportunity to decide if you’d like to maintain a relationship with your child as they grow older. Schedule an initial meeting at Adoption Choices of Missouri to get paired with an adoption caseworker and begin your adoption journey.

Another option is to raise your child. If you have the resources and support to raise your child in a loving and stable home, this might be an option you’d like to think about. Keep in mind that raising a child is a long-term commitment. Take a minute to think about your hopes and dreams for your own future as well. Remember, it is healthy to consider your own needs and desires as you make this decision as well.

Your third option is to terminate the pregnancy. If you do not want to continue with your pregnancy, this is a decision you need to make within twenty-two weeks. After that, it will no longer be possible to receive an abortion in the state of Missouri. Like any of these possibilities, terminating your pregnancy is an emotional decision. If possible, make sure that you talk through any thoughts and feelings that may arise during the decision-making process.

  1. Create a Plan for Your Pregnancy 

No matter what you decide to do, it will be helpful to create a plan. This will help eliminate any more surprises as you move along your chosen path.

For example, if you choose to place your baby for adoption, you will be matched with an adoption caseworker. Your adoption caseworker will help you come up with an adoption plan that will detail many parts of your adoption journey. You’ll be able to include any details about who you’d like to have in the delivery room with you, your preferences for your child’s adoptive family and the type of adoption that you want to have.

If you are choosing to raise your child, creating a plan can include some of the important details that will come up along the way. You might choose a nearby hospital that you’d like to give birth in and schedule your first doctor’s appointment to check on the health of you and your baby. You’ll also want to create a budget for necessary items like baby food, clothes and diapers. It will be helpful to have a supportive adult help you with this process.

Lastly, if you choose to receive an abortion, you’ll need to make plans for this as well. Do some research on nearby clinics in your area. If you have the financial means and healthcare to do so, you can receive this service at your doctor’s office. They will provide you with information and the resources you need.

13 and Pregnant in Missouri – Help!

Even if it may feel overwhelming, there are many options and avenues of support available to you during this time. Remember, you are certainly not the only person to find themselves in this situation and you are not alone. Adoption Choices of Missouri is available to answer any questions that you may have. Our top priority is the comfort and safety of you and your baby.

doption 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: Molly Doyle is a native San Franciscan, Molly is an experienced educator and a dedicated writer. She holds her multiple subject teaching credential as well as her Masters of Arts in Teaching. When not teaching children or creating new written pieces, Molly can be found kicking around a soccer ball, going for urban hikes or whipping up a fruit pie.

She currently lives in Seattle, her first home outside of California.

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