Birth Mother Blog

What Pregnant Women Should Look for When Choosing Adoption Agencies in Missouri

What Pregnant Women Should Look for When Choosing Adoption Agencies in Missouri

Choosing adoption can be full of tough calls and hard decisions. Not only is choosing adoption a huge decision in and of itself, but you also have to decide what type of adoption you would like, look through family profiles and pick out an adoptive family, and choose a doctor and make a hospital birth plan for when you go into labor. But before any of that can even begin, you have to be able to pick which adoption agency you would like to use.

Think about your needs and what you are looking for in an adoption agency. How qualified are they? What kind of services do they offer? What types of adoption do they offer? Will they value your needs as a birth mother above all else or do they put the adoptive family first? Are they religious or non-denominational? How well will you be represented? It is vital that you address these and any other concerns you may have when choosing an adoption agency in Missouri.

The Top 5 Criteria to Look for When Choosing Adoption Agencies in Missouri

  • Whether they are fully licensed. Perhaps the most important criteria, whether or not an adoption agency is licensed determines their legitimacy. An unqualified agency won’t be prepared to meet your needs or hold a consistent standard of care. A licensed adoption agency guarantees that whatever adoptive family you choose will be top-notch no matter what, because they will all come from a list of pre-approved and qualified families.
  • What kinds of services are offered. Different adoption agencies offer different degrees of services. These services can and should cover anything from financial and medical aid to mental health and counseling services. Your focus should be on staying healthy and happy for the baby, not worrying about how to keep the lights on, a load of hospital bills piling up, or the grief and anxiety that are sure to come in the wake of such a huge decision. These aspects should all be taken care of for you so that you can stay as stress-free as possible throughout your pregnancy.
  • Different types of adoption. Are you simply looking for an adoption agency that provides closed adoption, or is it important to you to find an agency that also provides open or semi-open adoptions? What type of adoption you pick determines what level of involvement you will have after your baby is placed for adoption. If staying connected with your baby and being included in his or her life after the placement process is completed is important to you, then make sure that the adoption agency you pick offers open adoption.
  • Whether they are birth-mother oriented. It is very important that you make sure that the adoption agency you pick will work with you and put your decisions before all else. Your adoption agency should be committed to serving your needs as the birth mother. Please understand that every step of the adoption process is ultimately your decision, and you should never feel pressured to make a decision you do not agree with. Your needs and legal rights as a birth mother should always be protected.
  • Inclusive and non-discriminatory practices. Just as there are so many religious adoption agencies, there are plenty of non-denominational adoption agencies who welcome clients from all walks of life. Your adoption agency should cherish the differences that make you the unique individual you are, no matter where you are coming from or where you are going.

Some Popular Adoption Agencies in Missouri to Start Your Search With

All four of the adoption agencies listed below meet almost all of the criteria listed above and are all licensed by the state of Missouri. Please note that this is simply a list of several popular licensed adoption agencies widely available in Missouri, and that we do not necessarily endorse or support any of these organizations or their views.

  • American Adoptions. American Adoptions is one of the largest domestic adoption agencies in the U.S. They pride themselves on being a fully licensed not-for-profit agency. They are a national agency, but their headquarters are locally located in Kansas City.
  • Adoption Option Inc. Adoption Option Inc. is a licensed non-profit adoption agency that provides domestic adoption and foster care services. They offer foster care licensing in addition to family preservation services.
  • Adoptions and Beyond. Adoptions and Beyond is another licensed, not-for-profit agency. They offer free, no-obligation office consultations to get you started. This means that even if you decide against adoption or using their adoption agency, you can still set up a consultation to check out their services at no cost to you.
  • Adoption Choices of Missouri. Adoption Choices of Missouri is a licensed, full-service agency who proudly specializes in local, domestic infant adoptions. We heavily prioritize our commitment to our birth mothers and open, non-discriminatory practices. We provide adoption services in Kansas City, St. Louis, Springfield, Columbia, and Independence. We also have a network of options that extend to surrounding states, including but not limited to: Kansas, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Adoption Choices of Missouri offers many services including safe housing, financial support, medical care, support counseling, and legal representation for birth mothers.

Whatever Your Adoption Needs are, Licensed Adoption Agencies in Missouri are Ready and Here for You

No matter what criteria are important to you, there are plenty of adoption agencies in Missouri who are all here to serve you. Just please remember to make sure that the adoption agency you choose is licensed and can provide all of the services that you require. Your race, creed, sexual orientation, gender, age, veteran status, or any disabilities you may or may not have should not bear any weight on how your adoption agency treats you. You should feel included, protected, and well-cared for by whichever agency you choose, all the way throughout the adoption process and after.

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

Adoption is Not Giving Up

Adoption is Not Giving Up

Adoption Choices of Missouri knows all too well what birth mothers face when they first come to the decision that adoption is the best choice for her and her baby. The criticism she may face from family. How she could possibly be shamed for “giving up her baby.” That adoption is something to be ashamed of. It’s not an easy situation to be in, and it can be harmful to your mental health.

But, we want you to know that nothing could be further from the truth. Adoption is not giving up! It’s the exact opposite. What’s more, we’re going to encourage you and share with you exactly how!

Adoption Means You’re Putting Your Baby’s Needs Over Your Own

To truly care for another unconditionally, you have to want the best for them no matter the circumstances. For birth mothers, you know the sacrifices and heartache that comes with the realization you’re not the right person to raise your child. When you know what needs to be done. It is a bittersweet decision, but one you know will benefit both your and your baby.

You love your baby deeply. So much so that you have the willpower to place him or her in the care of an adoptive family, who you trust will love, care and support your child in the best ways possible. Your adoption plan is not an exit strategy or a way of giving up. Rather, it is one of the most loving gifts you could ever give.

Adoption Gives You and Your Baby a Chance at a Better Life

There are so many things to find joy in when a baby is given to an adoptive family or when a birth mother completes her adoption plan. Think of all the new possibilities and opportunities that can now be utilized. All the once closed doors have been reopened again! There’s so much potential for both you and your baby.

For many birth mothers, they just want to get back to their lives. They want the normalcy of their lives restored, and that is nothing to be ashamed of. It is human to want routine, safety, and clarity in our roles and lives. Some still have some living they would like to do before they fully commit to parenthood. Others may feel that parenthood is no longer a future desire they have. Both are valid reasons for choosing adoption.

Do not feel guilty for having ambitions or still having pursuits you’d like to pursue. You are no less of a person for having those wants, and it does not diminish your worth in any kind of way.

Adoption Allows Your Baby to Grow Up Happy and Healthy

When you connect your baby with an adoptive family of your choice, you are not giving up. You are  creating a new family, and bridging yours and theirs together. To have a power such as that is not only a gift, but a great honor that should not be stigmatized or ridiculed in any sort of way.

The bottom line is for your baby to grow up happy and healthy. That is the most important thing and will always remain so.

No matter whether your adoption plan is closed or open, your baby still gets that hope of a better future and you have a huge weight of stress lifted off your shoulders.

There is So Much Love in Adoption

We know your struggles and testimonies. We know how overwhelming it all can be in the beginning. But, nonetheless, every birth mother rises and pushes to get the resources she and her baby need to succeed in life. The challenges she faces, whether it be from family, friends, or maybe even some emotional obstacles, will undoubtedly take their toll. In the end, she is always supported by her adoption agency of choice and is carried by her support system.

The inner workings that go into adoption choices and plans are so full of love and community, it is hard to picture it as something cruel. Adoption is not giving up or giving your baby away. It is giving your baby another chance. It is giving yourself another chance. This is why every year National Adoption Day is celebrated. Why there are leaders and luminaries who come together to support this special occasion. This is why all people of faith, color, and background have stories to tell about their own adoption.

Adoption is Not Giving Up

With so much diversity and a sense of togetherness, it is hard to see adoption as a way of “giving up your baby” or even “giving your baby away.” No. Adoption is one of the most ultimate of sacrifices that comes out of love and longing for your child to have a better shot at life.

This is not something to shame birth mothers for, but it is one that deserves praise. Adoption, and your decision to place your baby for adoption, deserves the time and space to be recognized as a choice borne out of heroism, not guilt.

Be encouraged, be brave. For all things adoption, find us here and let’s get started on your adoption plan today.

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

Top 5 Emotions You can Expect to Feel after Placing Your Baby for Adoption 

Top 5 Emotions You can Expect to Feel after Placing Your Baby for Adoption 

Adoption can bring up a whirlwind of emotions for you as a birth mother. No matter what kind of adoption you choose, feeling both positive and negative emotions is perfectly okay as you go through your adoption journey. Know that you are never alone and that your feelings are valid. You made the hardest and most beautiful decision during a time in your life where you were unsure what the future held for you and your baby — you chose adoption. This decision was not made lightly. It came with mixed emotions that you will have to grow with and overcome as the days, months, and even years pass by. But, you need to know that these emotions are a part of your adoption journey. 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we have listed the five emotions you can expect to feel after placing your baby for adoption

  • Happiness and Joy during Your Adoption Journey 

Experiencing joy during any point of your adoption journey helps you move forward and feel at ease in choosing a better life for your child. Happiness can be because you experienced one-on-one time with your child. You got to visit him or her or had the opportunity to chat with them online or on the phone. 

No matter what, getting to spend a little time with your child is all that matters. Sharing and cherishing these rare, special moments in your adoption journey means a little victory for you as a birth mother. You will feel loved and like an important piece in your child’s adoption story — because you are! Your happiness matters too.

  1. Feeling Guilt or Sadness after an Adoption Placement 

After placing your baby up for adoption, you may feel an intense sadness over not having your child physically present with you, or feeling guilt — like you are a failure as a birth mother. While these emotions may never  fully go away, they lessen with time. Working with  your birth parent counselor and the support programs available to you can help with this. 

Our adoption agency offers adoption support services, such as birth mother retreats, that help you work through your sad moments with the guidance and support you deserve. Other birth mothers can help provide you with comfort as well. Being around women who have had similar experiences can help you feel more understood, causing the sadness and guilt you feel to not be as intense.  It can also help you feel less alone and remind you of the reasons you chose adoption for you and your child. 

  1. Relief in Your Choice of Adoption 

Feeling a sense of relief as you go through your adoption journey may come easy to you or may come with time. Either way, having your child placed with responsible adoptive parents can provide him or her with opportunities that you may not be able to, leaving you with a sense of peace with your decision. 

Always remember, as a birth mother, you are still a parent to your child. Even though you may not have the added pressure of parenthood, or constant worry and stress for your child’s well being, you will always be your child’s birth mother. That will never change. Knowing this, as the years pass by, may help you feel more content, at ease and relieved in your decision. You made the best choice for you and your baby. 

  1. Acceptance of Your Choice of Adoption

The decision to choose adoption and accepting your decision can take a while, even if you are far into your adoption journey. Now, you may be feeling like you have emotionally run a marathon. Going through the various stages of your adoption — from creating your adoption plan to giving birth to post-adoption — can take its toll on you. But, at the same time, you’ve given your decision a lot of careful thought and consideration. That said, you may feel a sense of peace, as you have just walked the path of adoption and found peace with your emotions and overall choice. The peace that you feel is you being okay with choosing adoption.

If you aren’t experiencing that right now, that’s okay. Acceptance comes with time, guidance, patience, and self-love for yourself as the birth mother of your child. 

  1. Proud to Share Your Adoption Journey 

Along with acceptance and being proud to be a birth mother, completing your adoption journey comes with a sense of confidence. One that may encourage you to share your adoption story with others — family, friends, those who are considering adoption as a way to grow their family, etc. Your adoption story will help you heal, as well as others who are going through the adoption process, who have gone through it before or are thinking about it. Being proud of choosing adoption for you and your child is a great reason to share your story and bring awareness to the wonderful decision to place your baby for adoption. It’s such a special honor that you should embrace.  

Advice for Birth Mothers on Emotions You can Expect to Feel after Placing Your baby for Adoption 

As a birth mother, you may always have these feelings listed above, but you should not let these emotions consume you. You will have the resources you need to work through your emotions by researching online resources, like support groups that promote emotional awareness and healing through birth mother activities, like daily birth mother meetings. Adoption will always connect you to certain feelings, but as you move through your adoption journey, these emotions will help you find understanding and peace in your decision and give you a sense of confidence that you truly made the best choice for you and your child.  

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

Choosing Adoption in Your 30’s as a Pregnant Woman in Missouri

Choosing Adoption in Your 30’s as a Pregnant Woman in Missouri

We are often taught that our age determines some of our important life choices. While this is true on rare occasions, it is certainly not always the case. If you are in your 30s and are facing an unexpected pregnancy, adoption is absolutely still a choice you can make.

If you are choosing adoption in your 30s as a pregnant woman in Missouri, Adoption Choices of Missouri can provide you with the information and support you need. While your adoption journey will be unique to you, there are some common steps you will take to begin on your Missouri adoption path.

Making a Firm Decision to Choose Adoption 

Like all adoption journeys, yours will begin with a confident decision to choose adoption for your child. If you have supportive friends and family in your life, it can be helpful to talk through this decision with them. If you need some outside support as well, the staff at Adoption Choices of Missouri are always available to go over your options with you.

Because adoption is a life-changing choice, it is important that you educate yourself as much as possible. Placing your baby for adoption can have many benefits for both you and your child. It might let you focus on personal career goals, relieve financial tensions or provide a stable home for your child. Depending on where you are in your 30s, it can also be helpful to consider whether you want to have children in the future. If this will likely be your last opportunity to birth a child, you might want to include this in the discussions you have with your support team.

Schedule an Initial Meeting with Our Adoption Agency 

After you choose to place your baby for adoption, your next step is to schedule an initial meeting with our adoption agency. During this meeting you will meet our welcoming staff and have the opportunity to ask questions or voice concerns you may have about the adoption process. You will also be matched with an adoption caseworker who will be your support and guide throughout your adoption journey.

Create an Adoption Plan 

Like most aspects of life, it is important to have a plan when you embark upon your adoption path. Your adoption caseworker will help you create an adoption plan that fits your own individual needs. Adoption plans eliminate any surprises or guesswork along the way and ensure you a smooth and comfortable adoption journey.

When creating your adoption plan you will be able to consider the details of your adoption journey. You can make a hospital plan, detailing who you’d like to have in the delivery room with you and what items you will bring to make yourself feel safe and comfortable. You will also decide on the type of adoption that you wish to have. Your adoption caseworker can educate you around your available options.

Select an Adoptive Family 

One of the most important steps in your adoption journey will be selecting your child’s adoptive family. Your adoption caseworker will help you look through our extensive available family portfolios. Once you select a family that seems like a good match, you will have the opportunity to speak to them on the phone before meeting them in person. If, at any point, you should change your mind, the decision of whether or not to move forward in the selection process remains with you.

Choosing Adoption in Your 30s as a Pregnant Woman in Missouri 

Adoption is a choice that is available to birth mothers of any age. If you decide that you cannot raise a child, adoption can be a positive decision for you and your baby. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, our top priority is to make your adoption journey as smooth as possible. We are here to provide you with the information and support you need to feel confident in your choices and 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: 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

Placing a Child for Adoption without a U.S. Citizenship: 4 Questions to Ask 

Placing a Child for Adoption without a U.S. Citizenship: 4 Questions to Ask 

Facing the unknown can be frightening, especially when you are not sure what your individual rights are in a given circumstance. If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy but you are not a U.S. citizen, you are probably asking: Can I put a child up for adoption without a U.S. citizenship? The answer is yes, you can. As long as your baby will be born in the United States, you can place your baby for adoption here.

You and your baby are entitled to the same rights as a U.S. citizen when you begin your adoption journey. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we can help answer any of your questions and get you started on your adoption path. Here are some questions that you might ask.

1. How Do I Begin My Adoption Journey? 

You will begin your adoption journey by scheduling an initial meeting with our adoption agency. During this meeting, you will fill out the necessary paperwork. This is also a great time to ask any questions that you have. Our welcoming staff will be happy to help. During this visit, you will be matched with an adoption caseworker who will be your support throughout your adoption journey.

If you are a native Spanish speaker, please let us know and we can provide a translator to assist you with all documents and questions. If you speak a language other than Spanish, it might be helpful to bring a trusted companion to the initial meeting to help with translation. Our goal is to give you as much information as possible and build your confidence as you begin your adoption journey.

2. Will My Information be Private? 

Yes. The adoption process in America is legally required to be private. This means that any information you share, such as your immigration status, will not be shared with anybody. Government or immigration agencies will absolutely NOT have access to your paperwork.

We understand how important your privacy is, and our top priority is that you feel safe and comfortable at our adoption agency. Please feel free to talk through our privacy regulations in detail with our staff or your adoption caseworker.

3. Can I Have a Relationship with My Birth Child? 

Your adoption caseworker will assist you in choosing the type of adoption that best fits your needs. This choice will determine what your relationship with your child will look like in the future. Your adoption plan can be as open or as closed as you’d like.

4. Can I Choose My Child’s Adoptive Family? 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, you always have the right to choose your child’s adoptive family. We have an extensive amount of family portfolios for you to look through. Once you select a family that matches your criteria, you will be able to speak to them on the phone. If you would like to move forward with them, you will also have the opportunity to meet them in person.

Before choosing your child’s adoptive family, your adoption caseworker can help you make a list of important criteria. This way, you can select a family that will share these important beliefs or practices with your child. For example, if your primary language is Spanish and it is very important to you that your child be raised in a Spanish-speaking home, you can find that information in their family portfolio. We understand that your goal is to place your baby in a loving and stable home and we will make sure that happens.

Can You Put a Child Up for Adoption without a U.S. Citizenship? 

You and your child have the right to privacy and safety throughout your adoption journey. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, the safety and comfort of you and your child are our top concerns. We will provide you with the information you need to confidently begin your adoption journey and will support you as you move along your adoption path.

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

Placing You Baby for Adoption as an Incarcerated Birth Mother in Missouri

Placing You Baby for Adoption as an Incarcerated Birth Mother in Missouri

In life, we go through many challenges. Some greater than others, some that even make us stronger. Even through those tribulations, a child always deserves the chance at a good life and greater shots at success.

If you are an incarcerated birth mother who feels hopeless in the endeavor of giving their baby an adoptive family, know that all is not lost. Adoption Choices of Missouri is going to share with you what steps we will take in getting your child on the way to a healthy and happy life. 

Choosing Adoption from Prison or Jail

Placing your baby for adoption as an incarcerated birth mother, there are few steps and processes we have to go through. Depending on your sentence or duration of your incarceration, these steps may seem far reaching. Yet, know that hope is not all lost and there is always a way.

One of the first things that needs to be done is for a discussion with your caseworker or a prison official who can give some information on what options lie before you when you have arrived at the decision to put your baby up for adoption. 

These options can range from possibly putting your baby in the care of a close relative for the time being if you are serving a short sentence and would like them to be within family’s reach, to even coordinating with social services to see if foster care is an option. Another option, of course, would be to consider adoption. Communication and research is key to finding out what you can do to give your baby a better shot at life. 

Keeping your options open may help take a bit of your stress away, and give you time to carefully research each one before making a final decision. 

Contact an Adoption Agency in Missouri

Placing your baby for adoption as an incarcerated birth mother can have many variables that are dependent on the conditions of your sentence and the length in which you are serving. If you are not incarcerated, but due to circumstances will be in the future, it’s best to contact an adoption agency before you carry out your sentence. 

For birth mothers who are already in prison, contacting a family member or a trusted friend who can work with your attorney to get an adoption agency and coordinate with them is how the process will first begin. If you are not able to get in contact with a family member or for some reason are denied by your attorney, don’t give up! Speak with your caseworker and have them do some research on whatever options are there for you and your baby.

When finally given an adoption agency, like Adoption Choices of Missouri, you will be assigned an adoption caseworker who will be with you every step of the way to help you set up your adoption plan. Their duties involve: answering any questions you may have, alleviating any fears or anxieties you possess, and providing every ounce of support they can give overall, so your baby can be on the road to a better life and you have a weight lifted off your shoulders. 

Finalizing Adoption from Jail or Prison

You have gone through all the screenings, had conversations and meetings with many adoptive families who are hopeful in raising your child. Over the course of many tries, you find the adoptive family who fits best! What will happen now

The choices ahead of you, again, can be variable based on the situation of your sentence and what placement and parameters are implemented by prison regulation. Health and prenatal care will be given because it is crucial to a healthy delivery, and of course, your baby will be born in a hospital. After your baby is born, you can still be a bit uncertain on what exactly your life and connection with them will look like.

Keep in mind, throughout every phase, our adoption agency and your assigned adoption caseworker will make sure you know the terms of your adoption plan and what to expect for you and your child throughout your adoption journey. 

If you’re serving a long and high-security level sentence, contact with your child and their adoptive family may be limited. If you want to stay in contact with them, this can be done with letters or maybe even short phone call sessions where you can speak with your child directly or the adoptive family. The amount of contact you have will be determined by prison regulation.

Placing You Baby for Adoption as an Incarcerated Birth Mother

Being an incarcerated pregnant woman considering adoption is a selfless, brave and loving act  that will never be punished. Your adoption journey while in jail or prison may have its challenges, but it is certainly not impossible and will be one of the most rewarding decisions you ever make.

If you or a loved one are in this situation, contact 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

How to Involve Your Family in Your Adoption Plan

How to Involve Your Family in Your Adoption Plan

We’ve all heard the phrase, “it takes a village to raise a family,” and it is a true statement. Children are one of the greatest responsibilities, along with one of the greatest rewards, any family or parent could ever have.

We all need a good support system in our lives, and, for many, it can come from trusted family members.

Adoption Choices of Missouri is going to share some tips on how you can involve your family in your adoption plan.

Show Your Family the Adoptive Family You Chose

Screening and venting through numerous prospective adoptive families can get a little overwhelming sometimes. Going through all the choices and options may even become tiring. So, a couple of fresh pairs of eyes could exactly be what you need to help figure what adoptive family is exactly right for you and your baby!

Even if you decide that maybe you don’t want their input, you can still show and present the decisions that lead up to you making your adoptive family choice. Taking ownership and showing pride in what you’re doing opens up an opportunity for them to ask questions and help them understand.

Take the Time to Educate Your Family about Adoption

For many birth mothers, making the final decision to give their baby up for adoption has the potential to severely weigh on them. Involving your family in your adoption plan, and breaking down the steps and processes, brings them in as additional support. Some birth mothers may find it awkward at first, or even hard to explain, but patience and perseverance are key in this.

Your family will appreciate you taking the time to educate and tell them all the necessary ins and outs of adoption. They will see the sentiment behind your actions and will thank you for it. Pointing them in the direction of the same resources you found and received will help paint a clearer picture for them on why you chose your adoption choice in the first place.

Helping them understand could also lead them to assist another birth mother who is in need of help somewhere else

Build an Open Channel of Communication with Your Family 

No one’s family is perfect. We all know the challenges we face when talking with our relatives or close household members. Ideally, we want our family to be accepting of all the hard decisions we have to make and have them give us unwavering love at every turn. But, in some cases, family can disapprove and even shun birth mothers when the discussion of adoption is presented. Though it is unfortunate, it is not impossible to handle and possibly not impossible to convince them that adoption is the best course of action for you and your baby.

When finding yourself in this situation, know that not all hope is lost. There’s always something to be said to better their understanding or even a chance to shift their perspective. Creating the space and time where you all can speak freely and discuss your feelings about the adoption will help in the endeavor to clear the air between you all.

Learning how to involve your family in your adoption plan can seem pointless when they already seem against you, but the harder you fight for it, the closer you both will be to understanding each other. Family can be a huge pillar of support for you when first going through the motions of the adoption plan,a few disagreements do not have to end the relationship you have with them.

Remind Them that They are Still Your Family

No matter the circumstances, no matter what happens or the choice you make in the end, your loved ones and family are still that village you can rely on. Even with your child being put into the care of an adoptive family, it does not diminish the family value they hold with you and them. Encourage them to see it as an extension and not separation. When birth mothers give their baby to adoptive families, she increases her child’s support circle. She creates an even bigger village than she initially had before establishing her adoption plan.

With this type of thinking, your family will be more welcoming of the change and will see it as an addition instead of a subtraction. Adoption is not meant to tear people apart, but to create new families and set the stage for a better life for your baby and give them an even brighter future.

Involving Your Family in Your Adoption Plan

Even with knowing how to involve your family in your adoption plan, the work does not end there. It’s now time for you all to move forward as a unit, so that you not only support your child during the adoption process, but also support you through the transition.

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

Top 4 Myths about Teen Pregnancy That You Should Know as a Teenage Birth Mother

Top 4 Myths about Teen Pregnancy That You Should Know as a Teenage Birth Mother

Going through an unplanned pregnancy as a teenager can definitely be a crazy time in your life — especially if you’re worried about school, exams, and what’s ahead of you in life. Being pregnant on top of that brings a rollercoaster of emotions that are perfectly understandable to feel. Not to mention the potential negativity you may experience from family, friends, co-workers and complete strangers due to the various stereotypes surrounding teen pregnancy.

But not to worry. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we have listed the top four myths that come along with being a young teenage expectant mother.

1. Myth: A Baby will Fix Your Relationship with Your Partner or Spouse

Many have thought that having a baby would fix a relationship and create a stronger bonder between them and their partner or spouse. The thought crosses their mind: “Okay, now I am pregnant, and he will stay with me.” The truth is, though, some young boys who get girls pregnant are not ready for the big responsibility of parenthood.. Sadly, when they find out you are pregnant, you are sometimes left on your own to care for your baby.

Pregnancy and parenthood can put a strain on your relationship, particularly if it’s still developing or unhealthy. You may want a child of your own at some point in life, but timing is a large part of that, as is finding the right person. If your partner or spouse is not ready to become a parent, he or she may choose to walk away when they learn you are expecting. So, it’s important to remember that having a baby may not magically fix your issues. Instead, your unplanned pregnancy may end up making them worse because the issues you’re experiencing are deeper and not related to the baby at all. This isn’t to say thatyoung relationships do not last, but they take a lot of time, hard work and communication before you decide to become parents together.

2. Myth: You Won’t Be a Good Young Birth Mother

You may have heard this phrase a lot. It’s not an easy one to hear, as it may also be one of your greatest fears with having a child at a young age. However, it’s important to remember that this myth is making a big assumption about you. It is making a speculation about your maturity level and voicing an opinion about your ability to parent. The thing is, only you know what you’re capable of. People in your life may think or say that you won’t be a good birth mother, but you get the final say on whether or not this is true. If you do not feel ready for motherhood, then it would be best to consider your unplanned pregnancy options to determine what’s best for you and your child. After all, motherhood takes time and isn’t a decision to be made lightly.

However, if you are able to admit that you’re not in a place where you provide for your child physically, emotionally, mentally and financially, then you are providing this myth wrong. Because you are selflessly and courageously putting the needs of your baby above your own, you are being an incredible and loving birth mother to your child.

3. Myth: Your Life is Over

When you unexpectedly become pregnant, you will probably hear those around you say — or think yourself — that “your life is over.” This common phrase is not only rude to say, but it’s also insulting to the life growing inside of you. Having a child does not mean your life is over. Quite the opposite. Becoming a parent is an amazing journey and blesses your life in a myriad of ways.

However, at the same time, it does mean that your life may need to be on hold or change for your child. That’s a major part of parenthood. Your child becomes your first priority. So, if you’re aren’t ready to commit to this and want to focus more on  completing your life goals, then it would be best to consider adoption as an option.

4. Myth: You will Have to Give Up Your Teenage Years

Another myth you may hear if you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy as a teen is that you’ll have to stop having fun with friends, and that you’ll miss out on special moments of your high school years — like prom or graduation. However, this myth is false. Most teen birth moms still can experience these special moments, even if they are pregnant. You will be able to enjoy the dance and time spent with friends, and your graduation gown will still fit and give you the chance to celebrate your hard work and accomplishments.

Being pregnant as a teen doesn’t mean you’ll have to give up your teenage years. After all, you’re still a teenager and nothing can change that. It will mean, though, that you’ll need to be careful what choices you make to ensure the health and safety of both you and your baby.

Advice to Teenage Pregnant Mothers

As a young teenage expectant mother, you need to know that whatever option you choose — whether to parent, place your child up for adoption or terminate your pregnancy — you will never be alone. You will have the full support from our local adoption agency, your adoption counselor, and your adoption caseworker. You may face challenges whichever route you take through your pregnancy, but you should never feel ashamed of your decision. If you choose to place your baby up for adoption, you will have the lifelong reward of being a birth mother, and have the opportunity to watch your child grow with their adoptive family.

These four myths about teen pregnancy may make you question things or leave you feeling anxious, but you can overcome them by being the confident, mature mother that you are deep down inside.

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

4 Important Differences between Foster Care and Adoption

4 Important Differences between Foster Care and Adoption 

If you are a pregnant woman and you have decided that you cannot keep your child, you are likely educating yourself with your available options for adoption. Perhaps you are deciding between adoption and foster care, but don’t know enough about each to make a choice. 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we understand that your top priority is finding a happy and loving home for your child. We are here to answer all your questions and to provide you with support to make the decisions that are best for your own unique situation. Adoption and foster care do have some similarities, but there are a number of key differences as well. 

The Differences between Foster Care and Adoption

  • The Length of Foster Care vs. Adoption

Foster care is a state-run program that removes children from dangerous or unhealthy home and family situations. The ultimate goal of foster care is to provide a temporary solution to such a problem. Ideally, once your child’s home life is more secure and safe, he or she will return home permanently. In some cases, however, if a child’s home life does not improve, their foster family may legally adopt them. 

Adoption is the process of granting an adoptive family legal guardianship of your child. This is not a temporary solution, but a permanent one. Your child’s adoptive family will raise them as their own. 

  • Legal Parental Rights of a Foster Family vs. an Adoptive Family

When your child enters into the foster care system, you still have the right to make any important legal decisions in your child’s life. These decisions are monitored by the state, and can include anything from schooling choices to religious events to sport’s practices. If the court finds that you are unable to provide a safe environment for your child, your legal rights will be terminated and passed on to the state or an adoptive family. 

In adoption, an adoptive family will have full legal custody of your child. This means that they are responsible for all legal decisions in your child’s life, large or small. Adoption provides the opportunity for adoptive families to raise your child as a permanent member of their family. This gives the adoptive family the chance to raise your child with all their love and provide opportunities that will allow your child to flourish. 

  • The Selection of a Family in Foster Care vs. Adoption

Foster care is a state system where you do not get to participate in choosing the family your child is placed with. Additionally, you do not have the option to decide how long your child will remain in foster care. This depends on a number of factors, including the safety of your own home and your capability to adequately provide for your child.

Should you choose adoption, you will always have the option of selecting an adoptive family for your child. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, you have the opportunity to look through our portfolios of prospective adoptive families. Once you have matched with an adoptive family that feels right, you have the option to speak on the phone before you meet them in person. You will also be matched with an adoption caseworker who will provide you with support throughout your adoption journey. 

  • The Benefits of Adoption 

Both adoption and foster care are available options if you are unable to raise your child. However, it is important to keep in mind the well-being and needs of your child. Choosing adoption holds many benefits for both you and your child. As a birth mother, you will have much more agency in the adoption process. Not only will you get to select your child’s adoptive family, but you can also choose the type of adoption you’d prefer. This means that it is possible to continue to have a relationship with your child, if that is something that you are interested in. 

Stability is often a key component of a happy and healthy childhood. Moving your child through different homes can create confusion and a lack of trust. If you are unsure that you can provide a stable home for your child, it is worth considering adoption. Your child’s adoptive family will be able to provide a loving home for them. This will also allow you the space and opportunity to plan for your own future. 

The Differences between Foster Care and Adoption

Whether you choose adoption or foster care depends on your individual situation. Because this is an emotional and life-changing decision for you and your baby, it is important that you spend the time to make a thoughtful and educated choice. Adoption Choices of Missouri is happy to help you with the decision process, as well as give you the information and support you need to begin 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: 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

Can You Put Your Child Up for Adoption while in the Military?

Can You Put Your Child Up for Adoption while in the Military?

Are you an expectant mother who is currently enlisted in the military? Are you considering placing your baby up for adoption? If so, you might be asking the question: Can you put your child up for adoption while in the military?  The simple answer is yes, and the good news is that Adoption Choices of Missouri can help. 

If you are currently in the military, there are several steps you can take to place your baby for adoption in the state of Missouri. Some of these steps will be similar to non-military adoptions, but there will also be items specific to your service to consider as well. 

Here are what the steps in your adoption journey may look like. 

Step 1: Contact Our Local Adoption Agency

Every adoption journey begins with becoming more informed and making plans for the future. You can begin this process by contacting Adoption Choices of Missouri and setting up an initial meeting. During this meeting, you will have the chance to ask questions, voice concerns and meet some of our welcoming staff members. You will also receive assistance in filling out any necessary paperwork and will be matched with an adoption caseworker, your guide throughout your adoption journey. 

Step 2: Create an Adoption Plan

Your next step will be to create an adoption plan. In your adoption plan, you can map out some of the important decisions you will face throughout your adoption journey. You can include details about your preferred type of adoption, hospital and birth plans and future communication with your child’s adoptive family. Your adoption caseworker will be there to help you navigate through all of these decisions. 

This step in the adoption process will be a good place to take into account the specific considerations that come with being an active member of the military. One area you might address is any upcoming deployments or chances of moving. The adoption process will be easier to complete if you are able to stay in one place for the duration of your pregnancy. 

Step 3: Select an Adoptive Family 

Choosing an adoptive family for your child can be an emotional process. You will be able to browse our extensive family portfolios in order to select a family that you are interested in. After you choose an adoptive family, you will have the opportunity to speak to them on the phone before meeting them in person. This way, you have plenty of opportunity to see if they are the right fit for you and your child. The decision to move forward with any family is in your hands, but your adoption counselor will be there to provide support. 

Step 4: Prepare for Your Due Date

You will pre-select a hospital and doctor prior to your due date. The details can be outlined in your adoption plan. Before you give birth, you will also need to decide on the amount of contact you’d like to have with your child’s adoptive family on this day. You can choose to have the adoptive family join you at the hospital, invite them into the delivery room or keep any contact to a minimum.

Step 5: Counseling Services and Post-Placement Support

Once you have given birth and granted legal consent, your child’s adoptive family will become their permanent legal guardians. There are many emotions that rise up throughout the adoption journey, as well as in the final stages, and it can be helpful to reach out for support. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, you will have access to counseling services throughout your pregnancy, the adoption process and after your adoption has been finalized. If you have supportive and loving friends and family, it can be helpful to talk through any feelings with them as well. 

Choosing Adoption as a Member of the Military

The answer to whether you can choose to put your child up for adoption while in the military is a definite yes. Being an active member of the military will not stand in the way of beginning your adoption journey. Our adoption staff are happy to help you begin this process and to answer any questions that you have. Our top priority is to make you feel confident in your decisions and comfortable 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: 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.