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Birth Father Roles and Responsibilities in Missouri When Considering Adoption

Birth Father Roles and Responsibilities in Missouri When Considering Adoption

Choosing adoption can be a tough decision, especially if you don’t feel like it’s really your choice. Sometimes birth fathers can feel like they aren’t in control or like they don’t have a say in the matter, almost as if they are just along for the ride. However, this simply is not the case and cannot be further from the truth. That is why it is time to finally include birth fathers as part of the conversation surrounding adoption. 

Some men tend to think that choosing adoption means they are cowardly or that they failed to provide for their family. The reality is that choosing adoption is a difficult decision for the sake of the baby, and it takes a very strong and brave parent to face this decision and follow through with it. Choosing adoption means putting your own insecurities aside so that your baby can have a chance at the best opportunities in life. What better way to provide for your child than by giving them a head start in life?

We understand what a tough and challenging position being a birth father can be. That is why Adoption Choices of Missouri is here for birth fathers as well as birth mothers. We even go the extra mile to provide a wide range of resources for both parties.

The Top 6 Roles and Responsibilities for a Missouri Birth Father

Simply put, a birth father is the biological father of a child being placed for adoption. It is very important to understand and protect birth father rights. We believe that it is important to recognize that each adopted child has two biological parents, even in cases where the birth father’s identity may remain unknown. Below is a list of just a few of the many roles and responsibilities that birth fathers in Missouri may find themselves coming across.

  1. The birth father can play an important role in the birth mother’s support network. As a birth father, the best decision you can make is the decision to support the birth mother in this endeavor. One of the most difficult aspects of being a birth father is knowing when to follow. Birth fathers should please understand that, while the birth mother’s decisions are the final say, she may have some very difficult calls to make throughout her pregnancy. She will need you to be supportive of her and her decisions. The flip coin of that is keeping the birth father informed since he is a part of your support network. It is important to keep the birth father up-to-date on any major developments, especially any medical emergencies.
  2. It is the birth father’s responsibility to provide a full medical history. It is vital to the health and safety of the baby to get the birth father’s full medical history. It is extremely important that the birth father fill out and leave a completed medical history form. Without this medical history form, doctors will not be able to determine whether or not your baby is predisposed or at risk for certain hereditary ailments, like diabetes. Even if the birth father decides not to commit to participating in the adoption process, it is imperative that you still leave a copy of his medical history that is as detailed and conclusive as possible.
  3. Birth fathers can be involved with decisions regarding the adoption plan. The level of involvement you would like is up for you and the birth father to decide on together, but if you both decide that you would like for him to be involved, then having him help make an adoption plan is a great way to start. This can look like helping decide which adoptive family criteria is important, helping to pick out the adoptive family, or helping to decide which type of adoption best suits your needs. We provide a list of pre-approved, pre-screened, and pre-qualified adoptive families in our adoptive family portfolios, so your baby will be going to a safe and loving home no matter who you choose.
  4. If you chose an open or semi-open adoption, birth fathers can write an introductory letter explaining who they are and why you both chose adoption. Based on what type of adoption you chose when making your adoption plan, you may want the birth father to write an introductory letter explaining who he is and why you both chose adoption. These letters can be super helpful to adopted children who might have some questions that their adoptive parents simply won’t have all the answers to. This is your chance to answer those questions and to fill in those gaps.
  5. Birth fathers can help make a hospital plan and be a birthing partner in the delivery room. It is crucial that you and the birth father go over a hospital birthing plan together. Will he be bringing a bag of extra clothes and any toiletries you may need? Does he want to be there during labor and delivery? Did you both want some alone time with the baby after you give birth? These are only a few of the many questions to consider when making your hospital birth plan. Your adoption specialist will help you go over the details to make a birth plan that is as informed as possible. Please keep in mind that hospitals may or may not still have COVID-19 restrictions in place regarding delivery room visitation.
  6. Birth fathers are responsible for seeking counseling and dealing with any problematic feelings regarding adoption that may arise. The adoption journey can be an emotionally volatile voyage for anyone, birth mothers and birth fathers alike. Just because he is your rock does not mean that he is not silently suffering either. That is why we offer mental health and emotional support counseling for birth mothers and birth fathers. We offer these services throughout the entire adoption process and after, while you are both adjusting to life during post-placement.

Our Missouri Adoption Agency Can Start Helping You with Your Unplanned Pregnancy 

Unplanned pregnancies can seem scary and overwhelming, but that is exactly why Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help you. We are a full-service, licensed adoption agency that offers a variety of resources. These resources can take the form of financial assistance, medical aid, legal representation, and emotional support counseling. We will ensure that you receive any sort of assistance for which you may qualify. Our adoption caseworkers are on standby, ready and waiting to get to work helping you as soon as possible. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get to work helping 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.

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Can I Choose Adoption in Missouri Without the Birth Father’s Consent?

Can I Choose Adoption in Missouri Without the Birth Father’s Consent?

 Do you need the birth father’s consent to place your baby for adoption in Missouri? The short and simple answer is yes. You probably do need the father’s consent. But let’s face it: relationships can be messy and complicated, and the laws regarding birth fathers can be as complex as your relationship with him. The real truth is that adoption consent laws are circumstantial. They will always vary by case and are as unique as your relationship with the birth father.

But that is exactly why Adoption Choices of Missouri is here for you during your adoption journey. We are a full-service, licensed adoption agency. This means that we can provide the best resources available to protect your adoption rights as a birth mother and to offer legal representation on your behalf.

Remember, most adoption laws and consent laws will vary by state. Please keep in mind that this article does not constitute legal advice and is not a replacement for the guidance of an expert. Instead, you should always seek legal advice from a qualified professional, like one of the many highly skilled and licensed lawyers we provide.

 

What You Need to Know About Birth Father Consent Laws When Considering Adoption in Missouri

The first thing to know about adoptions is that they are all about consent. In fact, changing your mind about adoption is even called withdrawing or revoking consent. When you place your baby for adoption, you are consenting to a legal termination of your parental rights.

In Missouri, adoption is irreversible once that consent to terminate your parental rights has been approved in court. This is because a legal adoption in Missouri makes it so that the person adopted has the same legal rights as if they were biologically born to the adoptive parents. That is why these preventative measures are set in place. The court wants to ensure that this is the desire of all parties involved because the adoption is set in stone once the court finalizes it.

 

How Missouri Law Classifies Birth Fathers When Giving Your Baby Up for Adoption

In order to ensure that all parties want this adoption and that there will be no further legal disputes, the mother, father, and adoptive family all must consent to adoption. But how do we define who the father is? There are two ways the court distinguishes a birth father: a putative father or a presumed father.

A putative father is when a man legally acknowledges that he is the father of a child conceived outside of marriage. A presumed father happens when the man is currently married to the mother or if their divorce occurred within 300 days of the child’s birth. The father must consent to the adoption if he established paternity within 15 days of the child’s birth, filed with the putative father registry, and/or satisfied Missouri adoption law requirements. A registered putative father can reserve the right to contest the adoption, just as a putative father or presumed father needs to place his consent to adoption.

But what if either of those terms does not apply to you or your situation? What if you don’t even know who the father is? Or worse, what if you’re in a relationship with the father, but being around him isn’t safe or is a danger to the baby? What if you are in the process of divorcing the father? Or if you’re just beginning a new relationship with him that you’re unsure about? Relax, it’s OK! We have you covered! Just like how your relationship to the birth father is unique, so are the laws governing adoption. Adoption laws are generally handled on a case-by-case basis, so the intricacies of your situation will be taken into account.

 

Understanding Birth Father’s Consent Regarding Newborn Adoptions

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we go above and beyond for our birth mothers. We offer a variety of support services that provide help in the form of financial assistance, medical aid, mental and emotional support counseling, and legal representation that lasts beyond your adoption journey. We continue to take care of the birth mothers who choose our adoption agency as they adjust to post-placement life. No matter what, your adoption specialist will work tirelessly and diligently in order to protect your birth mother’s rights.

Your safety and the safety of your baby are our highest priority. Do not hesitate to contact us today so that we can begin helping you and answering any questions you may have as soon as possible. The sooner you call us, the quicker we can get to work helping you with your adoption process.

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.

 

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Adoption in Missouri When the Birth Father is Unsupportive

Adoption in Missouri When the Birth Father is Unsupportive

Every adoption story is different. Some couples come to the decision to put their baby up for adoption together, but others don’t quite have the luxury. It can be difficult to tackle adoption alone, and difficult legal issues can arise from attempting to do so without your partner’s consent. However, sometimes you have to decide what is the right one for you and your baby. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we want to make sure you get the help you need to sort out difficult questions like this. An unsupportive or absent birth father can make things more complicated, but not impossible. Here are just a few steps you can take to work through an adoption with that situation. 

Contact Adoption Choices of Missouri For Adoption Help

Contacting an adoption agency is important for a variety of reasons. Between our staff, we have many years of experience with the adoption process and have seen many different cases with birth fathers as well. Also, we can make sure you understand the options you have in your current situation. Plus, our services will always be free to any birth mother in need. While you can find some information about making an adoption plan with an unsupportive birth father online, many factors can influence your choices. Your best option is to contact an adoption agency before moving forward with the adoption process. 

What Happens When the Birth Father is Absent During the Adoption Process?

If the birth father is not married to you or out of your life entirely, there are a couple of options. Missouri has a putative father registry. This allows for someone to acknowledge their biological parenthood of children outside of marriage. If they did register with that system, they would be notified by law if you wish to put your baby up for adoption. However, if the birth father hasn’t provided support, communication, and/or never visited the child for a period of at least six months, their parental rights may be terminated by law. If the birth father is still in your life to some extent, we can help you communicate with him and counsel you. 

Our adoption caseworkers have years of experience and knowledge to help sort out more specific details and answer your questions. 

What To Do If the Birth Father Doesn’t Want You to Put Your Baby up for Adoption

If the birth father is still involved in the life of the child and helps support that child, then courts require the consent of both parents to relinquish their parental rights to put a child up for adoption. 

This can make the task of putting your baby up for adoption even more challenging. One important thing to remember is that, for many fathers, putting their baby up for adoption is a tough decision to make. Just like you, they wrestle with some difficult feelings. Even if you have determined that adoption is the best choice for you, the birth father has to go through much of the same emotional processing. 

Tips for Communicating About Adoption

You and your adoption caseworker can work together to talk about adoption to your partner and/or the birth father. Sometimes learning more about the adoption process and making an adoption plan can make someone more willing to trust the adoption process. If the father is worried about where the baby will go afterward, we can explain the in-depth interviews and requirements for all adoptive parents. If they’re worried about being able to support the pregnancy financially, we have plenty of financial resources for housing, transportation, and healthcare. 

We want to help you communicate about adoption in a comfortable way. Putting your baby up for adoption, going through an unplanned pregnancy, and trying to communicate about difficult topics are all tasks that can weigh heavily on you. Let us take some of that weight off your shoulders and make things easier. 

Unplanned Pregnancy Options When the Birth Father is Unsupportive or Absent

You finally have decided on adoption. After looking at your options and learning about adoption agencies and resources, you know it’s the best option for you and your child. It can be a scary thing to do, but you’ve made up your mind. But there’s just one problem: how do you tell your partner about this? How will they respond? Are they in the picture at all? 

If your story sounds anything like this, we want to help you communicate and come to an agreement with the birth father. It’s important to remember empathy sometimes. Giving a baby up for adoption is hard for fathers too. Just know that Adoption Choices of Missouri will be with you every step of the 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

Joshua Boulet Meet the author: Joshua Boulet is an aspiring journalist and writer with a particular fondness for research and social sciences. He loves music, writing, reading, video games and most art, and anything creative he can get his hands on. Boulet believes that there’s too much good stuff out there and not enough time to see it all. He grew up on video games: the classic Sonic the Hedgehog games, Mario Kart, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and Legend of Zelda. The music of rhythm games led him to an interest in that, and the investigative journalism of Jason Schreier inspired him to discover the importance of journalism as an industry. That interest in developers’ lives led him to an interest in social justice and how the world could maybe be made into a better place. “All this to say, there is certainly a line I can draw between me obsessively playing Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and me interviewing my sociology professor about how to read academic articles. Those surprising through lines fascinate me all the same. At my best, I’m a person who gets to be constantly fascinated by the lives and work of other people.” His favorite quote is from his favorite jazz musician: “A genius is the one most like himself” – Thelonious Monk.

 

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Merry Christmas from Adoption Choices

To all of our friends, families, prospective adoptive families, and birth parents who celebrate Christmas, may the magic of the season fill you with hope and peace! Sending you a very Merry Christmas!

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

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4 Tips for First Christmas in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother

First Christmas in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother

The holidays are meant to be a joyous occasion, no matter what you celebrate. Christmas, among the many other holidays around this time, is an opportunity for families to gather and celebrate their togetherness. Yet, for many adoptive families and birth mothers, this is their first time doing this.

For some, the stress levels might be through the roof now. Birth mothers and adoptive families want to make this a momentous time for not only their child, but for their new, extended family as a whole. The first Christmas in an open adoption as a birth mother is a milestone, and Adoption Choices of Missouri wants it to be a special one that will continue in years to come. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate through this first holiday season.

1. Stop and Breathe

Remember that you are not doing this alone. In an open adoption, you have your child’s adoptive parents to collaborate with about how to make your first holiday season together special and memorable. You may be overly excited and anxious to see your child again post adoption, and that’s natural. But don’t forget to breathe. The holidays are indeed a significant point in the year, but it’s important to take time for yourself, relax, and enjoy the holiday celebrations.

2. Bond with Your Child’s Adoptive Parents

Coordinating how you want to spend the holidays together can also be a great opportunity for you to bond with your child’s adoptive parents. To get to know each other more and learn why the holiday season is important to them. 

Doing this will not only be beneficial for you all, but it will also positively impact your child. When he or she  sees how well  you and their adoptive parents are getting along, they will feel more secure and gain a better understanding of how an open adoption can work successfully.

3. Don’t be Afraid to Grieve

Unfortunately, many times, life throws us curveballs. Whether it’s issues with travel, finances, or timing, plans may get changed or cancelled. If you are not able to see your child for their first Christmas, this may be a difficult pill to swallow. It may provoke a series of emotions you weren’t expecting. Know that it’s okay to take time to grieve and process what you’re feeling.  Acknowledge how much it hurts not being able to spend the holidays with your child. Journal. Seek support from friends, family or from one of our adoption counselors. 

When you’re ready, find some joy in knowing that your child is with their loving and supportive adoptive family and that you will get to see him or her another time. Christmas is not the only opportunity for you to see your child nor is it the last.

4. Schedule a Virtual Visit

Due to the unpredictability of the pandemic, Christmas this year may look different for everyone. Seeing each other in person may be more challenging than ever before. If you find that this is the case for you this year, reach out to your child’s adoptive parents and schedule a virtual visit on ZOOM, Skype or FaceTime. This will still give you an opportunity to set  some time aside to see your baby and get to say ‘I love you.’ 

If you’ve sent gifts to your child and their adoptive parents, a virtual holiday celebration will provide you with the chance to watch their reactions as they open those. Even though you’re not able to be in the same room physically, having this connection can give you some peace and reassurance that your child is happy and enjoying their first Christmas. 

First Christmas in an Open Adoption as a Birth Mother

You faced an unplanned pregnancy, made it through the adoption process in Missouri, and now, if this is your first Christmas in an open adoption as a birth mother or the tenth one, there’s never a bad time to be thankful for the ones you hold close and dear to you. Every chance we get to be around our family is a blessing, and one that should not be taken for granted. 

You were the one to make a new family and, with it, a new tradition of being together on the holidays, no matter the circumstances. It’s all too easy — especially during the holiday season — to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and miss out on making memories together. So, take the time to celebrate with your baby and their adoptive family. Cherish the moments you have with them, so that memories you create during the holidays with your child and their adoptive parents will last a lifetime.

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 AuthorMy 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.”

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My Adoption Journey: The Man I Never Knew

My Adoption Journey: The Man I Never Knew

Birth fathers are often seen and thought of in society in a certain way. One of the greatest mysteries of the adoption process. A man with no name or face. No true fatherly connection to the child placed for adoption. This rings true especially for me – a fellow adoptee. Since reuniting with my birth mother, I’ve been able to learn her side of the story; but, sadly, I’ll never be able to learn his. He will forever be the man I never knew. The father figure who was never there.

Knowing virtually nothing growing up, I had pinned him as an irresponsible teenager who bailed the moment he discovered his impending fatherhood. A man who, basically, didn’t want me or have anything to do with me. To learn what I could, I reached out to the best source – my birth mother, Michelle. After a healing phone conversation, I gained knowledge that helped put my preconceived notions and residual fears at ease. While this wasn’t the first discussion we’d had about Bob, it was the deepest. Over the past decade, Michelle and I have formed a Gilmore Girl-esque connection and trust, which helps reinforce my bravery to ask more difficult questions. Her memories of the man I never knew fill in some of the blanks.

The following interview is used with Michelle’s permission. She has allowed me to use her real name, and the name of my birth father. Other identifying details have been altered for privacy.

Did my birth father know about me?

Yes, he was at the doctor’s office with me. I took the test, and the nurse told us together. He flipped out and told me to get an abortion. I said no, because I don’t believe in abortion. The nurse said that we could talk in separate rooms. I said no and left the doctor’s office.

Because he had had a kid with his first girlfriend, I think he was really scared of losing you like his son. When he had his visits, Bob was a really good dad. He was able to see his son often, but they moved away and the visits stopped. I think the thought of another kid scared him. He didn’t want to get attached only to lose you, too.

Did he ever want to change his mind?

Oh yeah. Early on in the pregnancy, we talked about getting married and keeping you. There were moments he touched my stomach and he would get goofy and excited.

When did he sign the adoption papers?

Bob signed the papers three months before you were born. I broke up with him because I was hurt that he didn’t want you. He just wasn’t grown up enough to take on the responsibility of becoming a dad.

I didn’t sign until June 30th, three days after you were born  — ironically his birthday. I had three full days with you in the hospital, and I didn’t think I could go through with it. I didn’t let you out of my sight that entire time, and took lots of pictures. My mom and I joked about tying sheets together like in the movies and escape out the window with you — *laughs* — but I knew I couldn’t take care of you.

Did he ever see me after I was born?

Yes. He showed up at the hospital, completely intoxicated. He wanted to check on me. He saw you, but never held you. Maybe because he was drunk, or he was afraid he’d drop you, or…he was too afraid of getting attached.

What happened to him?

I saw him the September after you were born. After that, I didn’t see him until a friend’s funeral in February. That was the last time I saw him. Several years later, a friend called to tell me that he had taken his own life.

Despite the bad times, I have a lot of good memories of him. He was goofy and could make people laugh. He was “the bad guy” on the outside, but gentle on the inside when he wanted to be. He had a reputation to protect, so he acted tough sometimes. When we were dating, I was known as “Bobby’s girl.” His friends protected me. Nobody messed with “Bobby’s girl.”

The sad thing is, for the most part, he was a good man. It was just the drugs and alcohol that made the difference.

Am I like him at all?

You have some of his facial features. There’s a crooked grin you do that’s from him. You have his chin, cowlicks and stocky build. The quick comebacks are definitely from Bob as well. But your nose, personality and lovingness are from me…your hair and eyes are a mix.

The Man I Never Knew

Bob committed suicide on October 4, 1997. Even though I first learned this in 2009, hearing more of the specific details were as heartbreaking as they were healing. I had accepted the statistical probability of his abandonment growing up, but had never prepared myself for the potential of his death.

Awhile back, I visited Bob’s grave, half-expecting there to be some innate sense of connection. Instead, I felt nothing more than a profound disconnect. Certainly the most eye-opening and conflicting experience I’ve ever had in a cemetery. I snapped a photo of his grave plate with my phone, and still have it somewhere in the recesses of my computer’s picture archives. Every once in awhile, I’ll dig through and find it, to see if the feeling of isolation and distance changes to anything closer. Something that resembles any shred of recognition or familiarity. After all, I heard his voice. I had been in the same room as him. Both in and out of utero. But no. He’ll always remain the man I never knew.

Bob had his good moments, and his bad. He made choices, just as we all do. He was human. I’ll always have unanswerable questions, but…overall, he granted me life, and I’m forever grateful for that.

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

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What is Adoption?

What is Adoption?

As a birth mother who is looking into adoption, you might have a lot of questions. After all, adoption is a huge world to navigate, and placing your baby for adoption a big decision. You might not know where to look at first, but we at Adoption Choices of Missouri would love to help you understand what is adoption?

Defining Adoption

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

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

It is also important to understand that “adoptive” means “made or acquired by adoption,” which refers to parents who have adopted a child. This term should only be used during the adoption process to help you understand the different terms. Only after the process is done should the terms be dropped.

A Brief History of Adoption

Before 1851, adoption wasn’t legal – there were no laws that actually protected the adopted children. It was always done in secret. Children of unmarried women were seen as illegitimate and were almost always put into orphanages or families who would be willing to take them in because no one wanted them and their mothers were deemed unfit to raise them on their own. There was a lot of pressure on them, and most often, the adoptions were done with the best interests of the children in mind. 

In 1851, the Adoption of Children Act was enacted. This Act was put in place to make adoptions legal and safe for children. In the century that followed, organizations started popping up that strived to help adopted children in any way possible. In the 1970s, adoptions reached a peak and most of them were done by agencies. Adoption Choices of Missouri was formed in 2006 or thereabouts to help facilitate adoptions better. 

Impact of Adoption 

Adoption impacts you, the birth mother, in different ways. It’s often a hard decision to struggle with, and can be traumatic for anyone really. It’s normal to deal with a lot of emotions all at the same time – especially loss. Some people might not understand since adoption is always seen as a choice you make. You might feel guilt or shame for having given up your child and it might affect your other relationships in a negative way. 

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

What is Adoption 

Coming into the world of adoption can be a whirlwind. It helps to get an idea of what you’re looking for if you understand a bit of the history of adoption and understand the impact that Adoption might have on you. Please know that if you have any questions, Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help 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 AuthorSofia Becker is currently a student at Liberty University and is majoring in a Bachelor of Science in History with a double minor in Biblical Studies and writing. She is currently working on a Robin Hood retelling and an entire epic fantasy world in the making. In her spare time, she loves watching The Office and Disney movies.

Through her blogs, and her passion for helping and encouraging others, she hopes to make a difference in someone’s life. She also looks forward to becoming a better writer and editor. To learn more about Sofia, be sure to check out her blog and Instagram.

 

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What Birth Mothers Should Know about the Adoption Process during COVID 19

What Birth Mothers Should Know about the Adoption Process during COVID 19

There is a lot that has changed for the adoption process during COVID 19. If you are feeling nervous and overwhelmed about all the new policies and new changes, that is totally normal. 

You are not alone – we at Adoption Choices of Missouri are learning to adapt to the changes and want to help you understand better what you should know. 

What Birth Mothers Should Know 

  1. We are Still Open and Fully Functional

Birth mothers should know that our doors at Adoption Choices of Missouri are still open and that we are still fully operational. While our physical offices may be closed currently, we have moved to virtual communication to respect the social distancing rules. 

Emails are checked on a regular basis and have a prompt response time. The same goes for texts and phone calls. We care about you and want to make you as comfortable as possible in any way, which means that your health and the health of our employees is of high importance. 

  1. Hospitals have Extra Safety Precautions

There have been changes to the hospital process as well. It is always best to call ahead of time just to make sure that it’s okay to come. At Ozark Medical Center, for instance, every patient is allowed one visitor per day. If they feel sick or have COVID symptoms, they can’t visit at all. At Citizens Memorial in Bolivar, everyone is required to wear a mask, respect the social distancing guidelines and will be screened for their temperatures. Washing hands with soap and water is also mandatory. There are strict visiting hours and birthmothers are allowed to have one labor partner and another visitor for the duration of the stay.

Your caseworker will help you stay updated on any and all extra precautions your hospital of choice may have in place. Your health and safety, and that of your baby’s, is our top priority as well as the hospital’s. Despite the global pandemic, it is still safe to place your baby for adoption and to deliver him or her in the hospital. It is important to be flexible with your birth plan, though, as COVID-19 policies are ever changing right now. If you contract COVID 19 while you are pregnant, don’t worry. You can still have your baby at the hospital. The staff have procedures in place for a situation like this as well. 

  1. How to Protect Your Baby from COVID-19

If you are worried about how to protect your newborn from COVID 19, it is important to know that the hospitals have limited the number of visitors and support people who are allowed in the room. Depending on hospital policy, your baby will be delivered to the adoptive parents outside of the hospital and will be kept separate from the birth and delivery process. However, you will still be able to communicate with them. As different as this may seem, this is all to protect you, your baby and your baby’s adoptive family. But rest assured — your baby will be safely given to their new adoptive family and your adoption journey will be successful.

  1. You can Still Choose Your Child’s Adoptive Family

You are still able to choose your child’s adoptive family during this time. However, with regards to social distancing, all these procedures will take place virtually. The caseworker will email you photos and photo books of prospective adoptive parents for you to look at. Once you select who you want to meet and move forward with, any and all discussions will take place remotely using applications such as Skype, FaceTime or ZOOM.

We understand that this isn’t the same as meeting face to face, but the magic of this age of technology is that you still have the opportunity to develop strong and healthy relationships with your child’s adoptive family. That you can still those grow and build until we are, once again, permitted to safely meet in person

The Adoption Process during COVID-19

Adoption Choices of Missouri is still open during COVID 19, despite there being difficult changes to adjust to. Please rest assured that we are doing everything possible to take the necessary extra precautions for your health and safety. We are ready to help you in any way possible and help you be educated in the new policies. 

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 AuthorSofia Becker is currently a student at Liberty University and is majoring in a Bachelor of Science in History with a double minor in Biblical Studies and writing. She is currently working on a Robin Hood retelling and an entire epic fantasy world in the making. In her spare time, she loves watching The Office and Disney movies.

Through her blogs, and her passion for helping and encouraging others, she hopes to make a difference in someone’s life. She also looks forward to becoming a better writer and editor. To learn more about Sofia, be sure to check out her blog and Instagram.

Birth Father Blog

Types of Birth Fathers – Known vs. Unknown

Types of Birth Fathers – Known vs. Unknown

By Melissa Benedek

There may be many things that come to mind when you think of a birth father. You might think of a birth father as the father of a child who he is not aware of or present in the child’s life. You might think of a birth father as someone who is not married to a birth mother. There are many assumptions one can make, whether correct or incorrect, about who a birth father is. Yet, many beliefs are founded upon stereotypes that are negative and portray all birth fathers as absent, careless and lazy. 

There is not much accurate information available about birth fathers in general. However, Adoption Choices of Missouri believes it is important to recognize that birth fathers are as important as birth mothers in the adoption process. A birth father, whether he is known or unknown, is a part of the child’s life and the reason he or she exists. He may be in a relationship with, married to or divorced from the birth mother. Knowing the role of each birth parent is essential to understanding adoption and how it affects everyone involved. 

To clarify, let’s discuss the two different types of birth fathers — known vs. unknown — and what each entails. 

Who is a Birth Father? 

To begin, let’s first establish who a birth father is. A birth father is the father of a child who is adopted or is in the process of becoming an adoptee. A birth father’s relationship with his child varies depending on his position in the adoption journey. Some birth fathers may or may not have parental rights and some may or may not be in a relationship with the child’s birth mother. What remains constant is that a birth father helped bring life into this world, and will forever be a part of his child. Every birth father is unique as is his child.

Types of Birth Fathers

A Known Birth Father

When a birth father is known, he may be in favor of adoption, have a neutral opinion or be against it. If a known birth father does not want to be involved in the adoption process, he will need to sign away his parental rights so the adoption can move forward and be legally finalized. 

On the other hand, if a known birth father wants to be a part of the adoption process and is in favor of adoption, he and the birth mother can meet with an adoption agency to create an adoption plan. Even if the birth father chooses to be involved in the adoption process, the birth mother still has ultimate say on what this looks like. This largely depends on what kind of relationship the birth parents share. For instance, a birth mother is more apt to allow the birth father to help support her if they have a strong and healthy relationship. However, if they are recently split or haven’t been on speaking terms for a long time, she might not feel comfortable with him being there. Whatever the case, the birth father must be prepared to respect the birth mother and support however she chooses to place her child for adoption.

Showing support and committing to the adoption plan with the birth mother shows that the birth father wants to give his child a better life. Adoption is a very emotional decision and not one that can be taken lightly. Adoption Choices of Missouri is dedicated to helping birth parents through the initial adoption,  transition and beyond. Counseling services are available to both the birth mother and father at no cost to either of them.

An Unknown Birth Father

An unknown birth father is someone who is either not around or not known by the birth mother. In other words, she doesn’t know anything about him. He could be anyone from a one-stand to a man who sexually assaulted her. Unknown birth fathers are, unfortunately, very common within the adoption industry. But don’t worry. This doesn’t mean that your adoption process will be halted. You are still able to place your baby for adoption and search for prospective adoptive parents. 

In cases like this, our agency does our due diligence to locate him with any and all information the birth mother is able to provide. If the birth father does not appear within the allotted time, the adoption process is allowed to continue and become finalized without his signature.

Birth Fathers and Adoption

If you are thinking about adoption or have already begun your adoption journey, Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you determine if your child’s birth father is known or unknown, and can provide guidance as to what steps to take. Remember that you are making a crucial decision that can be life-changing for your child, and that we are here to support you every step of the way. Depending on your situation with your child’s birth father, his presence or absence will not impact your adoption journey, so long as you and your baby are safe and healthy. 

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your specific circumstances, don’t hesitate to reach out to our adoption caseworkers. We are more than happy to put your mind at ease, and will ensure that you have the most empowering and positive adoption journey possible — both with and without your child’s birth father.

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: Melissa Benedek is currently a junior at Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. She is a Literature major with interest in American regional writing. One of her on-campus jobs focuses on organizing volunteer opportunities with local partnerships for students. She is also a founding editor of Sonnet Literary Magazine based out of her college campus.

When not focused on academics, Melissa enjoys traveling into New York City to support independent bookstores and buy the best cookies at Levain Bakery.

 

 

Birth Father Birth Mother Blog

What Expectant Parents Need to Know about the Adoption Process

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, the ins and outs of the adoption process can be overwhelming. As an expectant mother, you are likely filled with many questions as you begin to navigate your potential journey toward adoption. While the adoption process can be overwhelming, there are numerous adoption resources available for you. The circumstances surrounding adoption vary widely, so it is important to really consider whether adoption is the right choice for you and your family. Despite whether or not your pregnancy was planned, you are here researching adoption, and making an informed decision is to be commended.

Within the adoption process, the hard things can become easier with the right understanding and mindset. As an expectant mother, you hold the key to the adoption process. The adoption triad, as it is often called, refers to you the expectant parent, the adoptive parent(s), and the child. Within that triad is a great deal of emotional complexities. However, if you travel through your adoption journey with the lens of what is best for your child, you will remain successful in your decision-making process concerning your child. Adoption Choices of Missouri seek to organize the adoption process into a meaningful overview, which will hopefully help you. While not every detail of the adoption process will be discussed here, the overall points of the adoption process will be.

What Is Adoption?

Adoption is a “legal process in which parental rights to a child (whose biological parents’ parental rights have been severed) are bestowed on adopting parents, creating a parent–child relationship where one did not previously exist. The adopted child has all the same legal rights and responsibilities as a biological child, including rights of inheritance.”

While the term “relinquish” may seem harsh, it is important to understand that as an expectant parent, you are the centerpiece of the adoption triad, and nothing happens without your continual consent and initiation. In order to be able to decide if adoption is the right decision for you and the circumstances surrounding your pregnancy, you first have to truly understand what adoption means. To further your knowledge of adoption, let us also explain that it is a matching process. As the expectant parent, you will be given a say in which prospective adoptive parents you would like your child to be placed with. So, while the legal jargon will exist, you will have your personal touch on the parent-matching process.

What Do You Want in Adoptive Parents?

You will need to decide what type of family you want for your child. This will include everything from their occupations, their family structure, what they do in their spare time, and everything in between. Think of this as the “best-case scenario” for your child. Do you want your child to be in a culturally diverse family or part of a certain religion? Remember that there will be a matching of sorts taking place with the prospective adoptive parents, so you will need to be sure of what you are looking for in a family.

In adoption, the process of selecting an adoptive family for your child is often called the “matching process.” This process typically involves you reviewing several profile books of adoptive families that meet your predetermined criteria. For example, if you have expressed that you want a culturally diverse family, Adoption Choices of Missouri will only show you the profile books of the families that met that specific criterion. Meeting adoptive parents in person can be an option based on your request. While the matching process can be intimidating, and perhaps uncomfortable, the purpose is to serve as a time for you to get some insight into prospective adoptive parents. No family will be absolutely perfect, so you will need to keep “what is best for my child” at the forefront of your mind.

What Type of Adoption Do I Want?

As you learn more about the adoption process, you will find that there are different types of adoptions available to you. These include open, closed, and semi-open adoptions. Kinship adoptions also exist, but these are adoptions that occur within biological families. For example, an aunt and uncle legally adopt their biological niece. Open adoption means that the relationship between the biological family and adoptive family is open, which would likely mean in-person visits.

The types of adoptions can vary and change over time, but, in general, an open adoption involves both parties being as open as possible. Some examples of open adoption may include the biological family attending the birthday party of the child or maintaining social media contact including video chats and similar media outlets. A closed adoption means that there is no ongoing contact between either party. Lastly, a semi-open adoption means that there is contact between both parties periodically. This contact does not likely include in-person visits but instead may include letters and pictures throughout each year. You will be able to decide what level of openness, if any at all, you’d like in the adoption plan you create for your child.

Adoption Is Right for Me, Now What?

Now that you have decided that placing your child for adoption is right for you and your family, you will begin to work closely with Adoption Choices of Missouri . We will begin to guide you through each step. Some of these steps will include paperwork and other legal discussions that can potentially be overwhelming, but it is our goal to keep your well-being as our top priority. During this time, you will ideally be provided with services like preplacement counseling to begin to help you understand and process what placing a child for adoption will look and feel like.

During your adoption journey, it is critically important that you get all of the counseling that you need. Such services can continue and should continue after placement. Your adoption professional will partner closely with you through the initial stages and into the matching stage with an adoptive family, placement, and finalization. Each of these stages of the adoption process brings its own challenges. As the expectant parent, you need to continue to communicate openly and honestly.

Adoption: From Start to Finish

Hopefully, at this point, you have a general overview of the adoption process. While this article does not discuss the process in complete detail, it does provide a general understanding. As an expectant mother, you will quickly discover that within the your journey you will have to muster up every ounce of strength, courage, and selflessness that you can. No part of the process is easy. The emotional challenges are monumental. And unfortunately, the decisions that must be made in all of their difficulties hardly wait for your emotions to catch up.

The adoption process should not be portrayed as an easy thing because it is far from easy. This is not meant to scare you as an expectant parent, but it is meant to keep you knowledgeable of the process ahead. With all that being said, however, there are resources across our country that make the adoption process manageable and a blessing for all involved. As with anything else, there can be less than desirable aspects to adoption, especially when you partner with agencies or other entities that function in unethical ways or those entities that approach adoption as a business. Adoption is a sacred and tender process, and it should be treated as such, especially when it comes to you: the expectant woman.

As a reminder, as you begin the adoption process, remember what is most important to you in terms of your child. Search your heart in light of your circumstances. Then, seek trusted counsel as you strive to make the most informed decision as possible regarding your pregnancy. Make an intentional effort to remember that if you do choose adoption and you walk through the adoption process from beginning to end, that you will need post-placement care. It will be easy to have the mindset of, “It’s done, so now I can move on.” However, that outlook can potentially lead to emotional trauma for you down the road. To avoid that and to maintain an emotionally healthy life after placement, you will need to be disciplined in your post-placement care. You may find yourself having to advocate for yourself as you obtain counseling.

Regardless of whether or not you actually complete the adoption process, your wisdom in evaluating all of your options as an expectant parent is to be complimented. Your desire to do what is best for you and your family speaks volumes to the love you are already showing for your child. Parenting comes in many different forms, and adoption is just one of those forms. If adoption ends up being part of your story, please know there are strong and thriving adoption communities that will not only love you through it, but will also support you as an expectant parent.

Contact Adoption Choices of Missouri  for more information
Serving Expectant Parents Statewide (in Missouri and Kansas) Expectant Parent Hotline (24/7): 1-877-903-4488

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