Blog

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

Navigating the Adoption TriadYou, Your Baby and the Adoptive Family

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

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

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

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

  • The Top Point: Your Baby 

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

  • Completing the Triad: The Adoptive Family

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

You and the Adoptive Family

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

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

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

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

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

You and Your Child

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

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

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

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

A Triangle of Relationships

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

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

Navigating the Adoption Triad 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Birth Mother Blog

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

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

By Samara Wiley

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

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

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

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

What does adoption cost? 

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

How will I know if the adoptive parents are safe?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What if my child asks about me later?

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

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

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

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

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

Birth Mother Blog

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

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

By Zoë Bowlus

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

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

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

Finding a match

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

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

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

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

Family type and size

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

Age

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

Education and Employment

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

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

Race, ethnicity, and culture

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

Views, Values, and Beliefs

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

Hometown and Home 

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

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

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

Hobbies, Interests, and Social Life

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

Parenting Philosophy

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

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

Personality

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

Qualities to Look for in Adoptive Parents

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

Adoptive Family Birth Father Birth Mother Blog

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

What is Adoption? | Adoption in Missouri

By Sofia Becker

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

What is Adoption?

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

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

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

A Brief History of Adoption

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

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

Impact of Adoption 

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

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

What is Adoption in Missouri?

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

 

Birth Mother Blog

Baby is Born: Can I Still Choose Adoption? For Birth Mothers Giving Up a Child for Adoption in Missouri

Baby is Born: Can I Still Choose Adoption? For Birth Mothers Giving Up a Child for Adoption in Missouri

By Samara Wiley

“Help – I’ve just given birth, and now I’m considering adoption for my baby!”

After delivering your baby, you feel the overwhelming realization that you are not in the position to care for or give your child the life he or she deserves. Maybe your circumstances just don’t fit with having a child right now, so you find yourself in the position of giving a child up for adoption after the baby has arrived. 

Good news! Adoption in Missouri after the baby is born is still an option, whether you find yourself at home or in the hospital, and Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help.

 I’m in the Hospital. My Baby is Born. Can I still Choose Adoption?

You’re in the hospital. Your baby is here. You quickly realize you are not equipped to be a parent and want to give your baby a better life by choosing adoption. 

You ask the nurse to contact us, your local adoption center, and request to speak with a Birth Parent Counselor. In an anxious state, you explain that you’d like to place your baby for adoption. The adoption caseworker assures you that everything is going to be ok and that you can still choose adoption after your baby has been born.

Three Types of Adoption Plans:

You can sit with this decision as there is no rush. When you have finally decided on adoption, your adoption caseworker will help you develop an adoption plan that is right for you and your baby. There are three different types you can choose from:

  • Open adoption – has the most interaction between the birth parents, adopted parents, and child. (Examples: phone calls, virtual communication, or in-person visits)
  • Semi-open – has limited contact between the birth mother and adopted parents or child. (Examples: letters and sharing photos through our secure, confidential online portal, ChildConnect.) 
  • Closed adoption –  no contact information is shared between the adopted parents, birth parents or child.

Adoption after Birth

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to support and guide you through this decision in your life. Our Birth Parent Counselors will assist with every part of the adoption process, giving you the tools and the support that you and your baby need throughout the adoption process.

Yes! You can still choose adoption, whether it has been just days or a few weeks after your baby is born. You will receive help from an adoption professional and the services necessary to start your adoption plan if you feel like you are unable to care for your child at this time in your life.

Choosing Adoption After Your Baby is Born 

Choosing adoption after you give birth is not an easy thing to go through. With the help of one of our licensed adoption counselors, you can rest easy knowing that you have the emotional support you need and deserve during this process. You are never alone!

You can ask as many questions as you have and receive non-judgmental answers that will leave you feeling better about your choice of adoption. Our agency will treat you with the kindness, respect, and compassion that you deserve as a birth mother. 

Birth Mother Blog

Pregnant Again: Can I Place a Second Baby for Adoption with the Same Agency? 

Pregnant Again: Can I Place a Second Baby for Adoption with the Same Agency? 

You’re unexpectedly pregnant. Again. And parenting still isn’t part of your plans right now. Don’t worry. You can place a second baby for adoption. You can work with the same agency to find a loving family for your baby or a different agency. 

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we welcome all birth mothers, whether this is your first time making an adoption plan or you’re facing another unplanned pregnancy. 

Respect and Resources for Birth Mothers Adopting a Second Time

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Judged? Nervous? Ashamed? Scared? You may be experiencing a jumble of emotions about this second pregnancy. That’s totally understandable. Remember that as an expectant birth mother, you deserve respect and compassion, no matter your pregnancy circumstances. If you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant again, you’re not alone. Unplanned pregnancy is common, and several of Adoption Choices birth mother clients go through the adoption process multiple times.  

At our adoption center in Missouri, we are here to support you as you navigate your new reality. You will receive the same empathy, care and resources you did when you worked with us the first time. Your caring caseworker will help coordinate your adoption plan. You will have access to all our services, including financial assistance and legal representation. 

Finding an Adoptive Family for Your Second Baby

You can work with the same agency to place your baby for adoption. First, your caseworker will check in with the family who adopted your first child since we try to keep your children in the same adoptive family. The adoptive parent(s) may be excited to raise birth siblings. If they are able to adopt your second baby, then everything should run smoothly, especially since you already know the adoptive parents. 

Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee that the adoptive family will be able to adopt your second baby. They might not have the time or financial resources to adopt and raise another child. Or maybe they were not planning on expanding their family. Whatever the reason, if the adoptive family can’t adopt your second child, don’t worry. We will help you make an adoption plan and match you with another loving family. Since you’ve already been through the process before, you know what to expect. You will be able to choose the type of adoption you prefer and look through profiles of prospective families before selecting an adoptive family. Your caseworker will correspond with both adoptive families to try to make sure your birth children can keep in touch as they grow up. 

What this Adoption Journey will Look Like

Your adoption journey this time around might be quite similar to your first if you felt satisfied with the arrangements you chose last time. Or, it might be totally different. Since you’ve been on an adoption journey before, you may decide you want to make some changes when creating your adoption plan. You might choose to have more or less interaction with the adoptive family during your pregnancy. Maybe you want the post-adoption relationship with your child and their adoptive family to be different. If you’re placing your child with a different family, you might think about different characteristics, such as their family size, religion or hometown. 

Whether your adoption choices are exactly the same or totally different, you will still be making the same loving decision to place your baby for adoption. 

Taking Care of Yourself during the Adoption Process

You already made the brave decision to place your first child for adoption. You are caring and courageous. Now that you’ve found out you’re pregnant again, you may be stressed, confused, conflicted or unsure about what to do next. As you go through the adoption process again, remind yourself that you possess an incredible amount of strength and love. We are here to help you cope and feel confident as you choose what’s best for you and your baby. 

Your mental health is important as you go through pregnancy and adoption, so emotional support is a top priority. Our agency offers counseling, both during the adoption process and post placement. You can talk with a counselor, who will listen to what’s on your mind and provide judgement-free guidance. 

Another option is a support group. We can help you connect with a group of birth mothers who have gone through the adoption process or who are in the middle of placing their baby for adoption. In a birth mother support group, you can share as much (or as little) as you want. You can ask questions. You can share your feelings, frustrations and fears. Or you can simply listen to other birth mothers’ stories. 

You do not have to face a second unplanned pregnancy alone. Do not be afraid to reach out for help or support. 

You Can Place a Second Baby for Adoption 

If you’re unexpectedly pregnant again and considering your options, you can absolutely place a second baby for adoption with the same agency! At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we do not judge birth mothers for any reason. If you’ve placed with us before, we are happy to work with you again. We will be a trusted resource for you as you go through the 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 AuthorZoë Bowlus, a writing and editing enthusiast, considers herself a grammar groupie and suffers from a weakness for wordplay and working with words, whether she is reading, furiously typing away, playing Words with Friends, or filling in the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.  

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

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

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

Birth Mother Blog

The Top 8 Common Questions Birth Mothers Have about Adoption in Missouri

The Top 8 Common Questions Birth Mothers Have about Adoption in Missouri

By Sofia Becker

As an expectant woman facing an unplanned pregnancy in Missouri, you might be facing an uncertain future. Maybe you’re feeling scared or apprehensive about the whole situation. Maybe you’re thinking, “Where do I turn if I’m considering adoption for my baby?” You might have questions about your next steps and wonder whether or not adoption is the right fit or choice for you. 

Don’t worry; all of this is normal. Adoption Choices of Missouri is ready to help you face this uncertain future. We’ve put together a list of some common questions birth mothers have about giving a child up for adoption in Missouri:

  1. Why should I choose adoption?

Having an unplanned pregnancy is scary, and, at this moment, you are probably faced with a lot of different choices to make. If you’re not ready to be a parent, considering adoption for your baby means you want what is best for your child’s life.

Choosing adoption gives you lifelong joy in seeing your child grow up in a loving household. It also lifts any burdens from your shoulders that you might have of your child growing up in a different environment than you did.

  1. Is there anyone who can help me understand my decision and deal with losing my child?

Adoption is never an easy choice in the first place. It can be hard and difficult, but we are here for you and will provide you with counseling and support if needed. You will have an adoption specialist who will be available to you at all times. 

It is important to also surround yourself with a support system outside of Adoption Choices of Missouri. This can include your family, your partner or spouse, or anyone else that you consider to be trustworthy enough to support you during this time. 

  1. Do I have the right to choose the adoptive family?

You definitely have the right to choose the family who will adopt your baby. In fact, it is encouraged or required that prospective adoptive parents create a scrapbook full of information about their lives, which contains pictures and stories. This will give you a glimpse of who they are and what kind of life they could provide for your baby. 

Often, prospective adoptive parents will also include a special section dedicated to the birth mother, explaining why they are a good candidate and sharing additional information about their lives, such as their likes, dislikes, and more. 

  1. How do I know that my child will be raised in a safe environment if I choose adoption?

It is good to be concerned about the well-being of your child even after adoption. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, the prospective adoptive parents go through a series of exhaustive background checks. They are interviewed by social workers and are carefully screened. 

It is always a possibility that prospective adoptive parents can’t have any children, even if they want children. So, adoption is always an opportunity for them to show their child all the love that he or she deserves. Children are always a blessing to someone – your child included.

  1. Will the adoption agency be able to help me with my financial needs? 

Adoption Choices of Missouri will help you find the assistance you need to pay all the medical bills. First, if there are any medical bills that are not provided by your medical insurance or the state funds, the adoptive family will take care of that. Second, we will help you with living expenses. We understand how difficult it is to return to work after giving birth. Third, your caseworker will help you find transportation to your doctor appointments and get your prescriptions. If there is anything else that you need help with (i.e. getting groceries), your caseworker will be more than happy to work with you on that. 

  1. Can I still see my baby even after the adoption is over?

This greatly depends on what kind of adoption plan you chose. For instance, if you choose to do an open adoption, you will have the opportunity to maintain contact with the adoptive family and your child. This could include virtual communication, phone calls, or in-person visits.

Be sure to discuss this with your caseworker and the adoptive parents prior to your baby’s birth, so that you will know what to expect after the adoption has finalized. The adoption process, overall, is a very emotional and complex one; but, it’s better to have a plan in place early on before everything is heightened during the birth and delivery process.

  1. Will my child resent or hate me for choosing adoption?

This is a very valid and common concern birth mothers have when placing their baby for adoption. So, it’s very natural and there’s no shame or guilt in wanting to ask it. Our adoption counselors can offer you a confidential, safe, and non-judgmental environment to process this concern.

Adoptees from decades past often recount struggling with identity issues as a result of details being kept secret from them. However, in recent decades, more former adoptees have opened up about their adoptions. Many have expressed gratefulness to their birth parents for doing the right thing. In addition, our agency encourages open adoption, as it allows your child to learn the right way about you and where they came from, eliminating the questions and struggles as they develop.

  1. What if my friends and family don’t understand why I’m giving up my baby for adoption?

If your friends or family lack understanding, you could give them a brief explanation of your reasons. That you feel this is the best decision for both of you. Unfortunately, there’s a social stigma surrounding adoption and birth mothers “giving up” their babies. People seem threatened by what they don’t understand. But, thanks to changes the adoption industry has made, it’s become more common and less stigmatized. 

Your child’s adoption can also serve as an opportunity for your friends and family to learn about how adoption works. Your caseworker can talk with your family and friends and help them understand what is going on. 

Navigating the Common Questions that Birth Mothers Have about Adoption

As a birth mother, the future can seem uncertain and terrifying, but Adoption Choices in Missouri is here to help you answer any questions that you might have. Whether it has to do with financial assistance or other concerns, please feel free to come to us for help. We understand how hard it is to feel alone during this time. Let us help you navigate these troubled waters.  

Birth Mother Blog

Counseling & Support Resources for Birth Mothers experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy

Counseling & Support Resources for Birth Mothers experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy

An unplanned pregnancy can be an overwhelming realization. Especially if you are not in a position to give your child the life you know that he or she deserves. Maybe you’ve thought about having a family one day, but the timing is’t right. Perhaps you are at a good point in your career, or are already parenting children, and cannot expand your family at the moment. Or, maybe you’re in the midst of graduating from high school or college.

Whatever circumstance you find yourself in, discovering that you are pregnant comes with many different emotions. This can cause you a great deal of stress and anxiety. But, don’t worry! You are in good hands. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to help. You do not have to travel this decision alone. We have counseling and support resources for birth mothers experiencing an Unplanned Pregnancy available to you.

Confidential Counseling Services for Adoption

At our agency, we offer all of our birth mothers counseling sessions that are at no cost to you. You will have the opportunity to meet with one of our licensed adoption counselors where you can healthfully process through your emotions and discuss your options. Everything you say in these sessions are kept confidential and nonjudgmental. It is a safe place for you to voice what you are thinking and feeling, and for you to get any and all questions answered and concerns addressed.

If you decide to place your baby for adoption, the counselor will help arrange a meeting with a caseworker, who will then walk you through the process. From beginning to end, our agency will welcome you with open arms, treat you with the respect you deserve and support you every step of the way.

Financial Assistance for Adoption

Placing your baby for adoption does not cost you anything. However, if you are in need of financial assistance, your caseworker will work with you to see what you are eligible for. Adoption Choices of Missouri can provide assistance in the following areas:

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Food
  • Transportation
  • Maternity Clothing
  • Phone service
  • Groceries
Support Groups for Adoption

One of the other counseling and support resources for birth mothers is getting involved with a support group. Be sure to research what options are available in your local area. Finding a group where birth mothers meet can offer you additional support. To be among a group of women who have placed, are in the process or are considering it can give you a great sense of encouragement and comfort. 

If you are unable to find a support group in your area, you can also look online through social media and other outlets such as Facebook and MeetUp. Other options include: Birth Mother Assistance and Brave Love.  

Counseling and Support Resources for Birth Mothers

Having a strong support system and counseling resources available to you while you are going through an unplanned pregnancy is vital. Even if you choose to place your baby for adoption, the emotions and decisions you will have to face shouldn’t be gone through alone. 

Our adoption counselors will answer all your questions, address your concerns and help reassure you that any decision you make will be fully supported. Your health and safety — and that of your baby’s — is our top priority. You will never be alone.

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

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

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

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

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

Birth Mother Blog

How COVID-19 Affects Adoption in Missouri 

How COVID-19 Affects Adoption in Missouri 

In the COVID-19 pandemic, we are faced with so many confusing questions: What’s safe? What’s not? Where can I go? Can I see people in person? How do I stay healthy? If you’re unexpectedly pregnant, you’re dealing with a lot right now: On top of figuring out what’s best for you and your baby, you have to factor in pandemic safety precautions and the uncertainty of COVID-19. You may be wondering if adoption is still an option. It is! You can still safely place your baby for adoption during this pandemic. 

Adoption Choices of Missouri is still open and offering full services during the pandemic. We are always here to help you through every step of your adoption journey. 

Here are some answers to questions you might have about how COVID-19 affects adoption in Missouri:

Is the Adoption Process Still the Same? 

Yes! You can still make an adoption plan just as you would have before COVID-19. You will still work with one of our adoption caseworkers, who will provide support and resources and answer any questions you have. You will still fill out paperwork, choose the type of adoption that works for your needs, browse prospective adoptive parent profiles and match with the family you want to adopt your baby. 

The only difference is that all of this will happen online or over the phone. Even though our physical offices are closed right now, we are working remotely to make adoption possible for you. 

Keep in mind there may be some delays since everyone must practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It might take a little longer to communicate with everyone involved in the adoption process. For example, families hoping to adopt must go through interviews and home studies, which are usually conducted in person. Because of COVID-19 safety measures, completing these protocols might be slower. But don’t worry; there are still many families waiting to open their homes and hearts to an adopted baby. We are working hard to make sure you connect safely with an adoptive family. 

If I Want to Communicate with the Adoptive Family, is that Still Possible? 

Absolutely! If you’ve chosen an open adoption, you can meet the adoptive family using ZOOM, Skype, FaceTime or other video chat apps. Your adoption caseworker can set up a virtual meeting or call for you. 

Should I Postpone My Prenatal Doctor’s Appointments? 

No. You should still see your doctor. Prenatal check-ups are important to ensure that you and your baby are healthy. Your doctor will give you advice about how to protect you and your baby’s health throughout your pregnancy and during the pandemic.

It’s totally understandable if COVID-19 makes you nervous about going to the doctor’s office. Ask your healthcare provider what measures they’re taking to keep their patients safe during in-person visits. You may even be able to meet virtually with your doctor over the phone or video. Check with your doctor to see if they want to see you in person or if you can make a telehealth appointment instead. 

I’d like the Adoptive Family to be with Me at My Prenatal Appointments.  Who is allowed in the Doctor’s Office? 

Different healthcare providers have different rules about visitors to keep everyone healthy and safe. Check with your healthcare provider to see if you’re allowed to have someone accompany you to your doctor’s appointments. 

I’m about to Give Birth. What will My Hospital Experience be Like? 

It is still safe to give birth at a hospital, where professionals can provide the best care. Your labor and delivery team will do everything they can to protect your health and your baby. 

Before entering the hospital, you will be screened and/or tested for COVID-19. If you test positive or are suspected of having COVID-19, don’t worry. You will still be cared for, just in another part of the hospital in order to prevent the spread of disease. 

Your labor plan should be the same as it would be normally pre-pandemic. Generally, COVID-19 should not change the preferred timing and method of your delivery. Check with your doctor to see if you need to make any modifications. 

Your labor and delivery team will wear masks and other personal protective equipment. Ask your doctor about whether or not you should wear a mask during labor and delivery. 

Can I have Visitors with Me when I Give Birth?  

Ask your healthcare provider about their visitor policies for mothers in labor. You’ll likely be limited to one support person in the delivery room/maternity ward with you for the duration of your hospital stay. This visitor could be a family member, a friend, a member of the adoptive family, a doula, your adoption caseworker, etc. 

Visitors will be screened for symptoms. They must wear a face covering and follow all other public health and hospital guidelines. Check with your hospital to figure out when visitors are allowed to visit and which hospital entrance they should use. 

Ask your caseworker and healthcare provider about options to video chat so more people can be virtually present for the birth of your baby.  

How Long will I Stay in the Hospital? 

You’ll be discharged as soon as safely possible to minimize your time spent at the hospital. Returning home quickly protects your health and prevents exposure to COVID-19. Your care team will ensure that you are in good health and fully ready to be discharged before you are sent home. 

The Family Adopting My Baby doesn’t Live Locally. How is COVID-19 affecting their Travel Plans? 

These days, traveling is more complicated. Taking a flight, riding a bus or train or driving can increase the risk of getting or spreading COVID-19. If your adoptive family is traveling from out of town to meet your baby at the hospital, they will need to find a transportation solution that follows public health requirements for safe travel. Your hospital and your caseworker will ensure that your baby is safely delivered to the adoptive parents. 

How COVID-19 Affects Adoption in Missouri: You can Still Choose Adoption

We may be in the middle of a pandemic, but our adoption agency is still operating and providing the same services and support for birth mothers. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we are here to help you with your unplanned pregnancy and keep you healthy. COVID-19 may understandably cause some worries, frustrations, or difficulties as you go through the adoption process, but you can still safely choose to place your baby for adoption in a loving home. 

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

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

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

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

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

Birth Father Blog

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.