Questions Birth Mothers Might Have About the Adoption Process in Missouri
When making big choices when you are considering adoption, questions are inevitable and important to be answered. Your adoption is no exception and the biggest decision of your life. Those who aid you through the adoption process are vital to your experience, and this includes the adoption agency you choose. Different adoption agencies vary in what they offer and knowing the right questions will help you rule out who you want to help with your Missouri adoption plan. The list below can’t cover everything, but writing them down might jog your ideas. Here at Adoption Choices of Missouri, we want to make sure all your questions are being taken care of. Here are some questions birth mothers might have about the adoption process in Missouri.
Your Adoption Agency’s Support
Support is important for every birth mother. All adoption agencies will give some support, but they offer different services. Each birth mother’s needs are different, so there’s not going to be any list that will be a perfect roadmap. The list below will give a few examples, so you can think of what to ask.
- Does Your Agency Support Open Adoption? Traditionally, adoptions were closed, but open adoption is becoming more common. Open adoption means communication between the birth mother, adoptive parents, and the baby continues after the adoption is finalized. Such arrangements vary but having an agency that supports it makes it easier to make the communication needs of your case.
- What Support Does Your Agency Offer? Aside from making an adoption plan, you will likely need additional help. These areas include finances, emotional support, legal assistance, and more. It is important to ask about the costs of any offered services. Your adoption agency should be upfront about any fees. For financial support, your adoption specialist will make an assessment, so you can get help for certain expenses. Birth mothers should also ask agencies about counseling services after the adoption is finalized. Ask for specifics because some agencies give more help than others. You should also learn the qualifications of the counselors.
- Communication: How well your adoption agency communicates with you is needed for a good connection between you and the adoptive family. This includes how long it takes to hear a response, hours of availability, how often you will be contacted, preferred means of communication, and how to get them in case of an emergency.
- How Do You Screen Adoptive Families? The screening process will vary from agency to agency, and so will the home study procedures required of adoptive families. You should also ask whether you or they will choose the adoptive family.
Additional Questions You Might Have About the Adoption Process
- Is there a person on staff from the Department of Social Services?
- Do you allow birth parents to access profiles on adoptive families?
- What are the restrictions for who can adopt?
- What are the state’s adoption requirements?
- What is your failed connection rate?
- How often do you place children with LGBTQ+ parents, single parents, and couples with biological kids?
- What languages do you provide services in?
- What are your placement demographics?
- What happens if I change my mind?
Watch Out For Adoption Scams
Adoption is an emotional process, but some people will exploit it anyway. People in all parts of the Missouri adoption process are potential targets, and birth moms are no exception. A failed placement doesn’t mean fraud has taken place, but there are red flags to watch out for, such as:
- Adoption professionals who can’t provide information.
- Inability to verify the agency or professional. Find out the agency’s license number, address, phone number, legal business name, and city business license.
- A professional who’s offended by your questions
- Bad reports from the Better Business Bureau
- Pressuring you to sign documents you don’t understand
- Inconsistent communication
- A representative reaches out to you first. Legit agencies will not approach you before you approach them.
Overall, the most important thing is to listen to your gut. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong. Although this list applies to adoption agencies, potential adoptive parents can be fraudulent as well. If your child’s adoptive parents are not upfront with you, this is definitely a red flag. Also, look out for:
- Parents who change their mind about how much contact they want you to have after the birth.
- Making demands instead of asking
- Not returning messages
- Seeming desperate
- Trying to convince you to break the law or take illegal payments or gifts
Adoption Choices of Missouri Helping Answer Questions Birth Mothers Might Have
Of course, there are other questions and concerns to be considered. It may help to talk to your family about your concerns or reach out to other moms who put their baby up for adoption. Adoption is a hard choice requiring a lot of careful thought, and only you can know what’s best for you and your family. Adoption Choices of Missouri serves expectant mothers at no cost and is ready to help when you are ready.
Meet the author: Seannea Wharton is a student at Miami University majoring in English. As of now, she is working on her first novel, starting a book blog, and learning American Sign Language. She was raised in a suburban town in New Jersey and has various hobbies such as gardening, cooking, and crocheting. She enjoys learning about a wide range of topics and loves finding new books to read.