Requirements for Placing a Baby for Adoption in Missouri
By Katy Reagan
Adoption is never easy, but it can be a smooth process with the right support. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to provide you with all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your baby. The phrase “giving a baby up for adoption” is said a lot, but that is not the phrase we like to use. We prefer “placing a baby for adoption” because you are not giving up anything or anyone. You are making a choice to put your child in the best home possible for them. No matter how overwhelmed or scared you may be, you are making the best life for you and your child. When looking at adoption agencies near me, the first step is to know the requirements for placing a baby in Missouri.
Birth Mothers do not have to pay anything to place a baby in Missouri
If you are pregnant and considering adoption, there is no cost to you to put your child up for adoption. You might be wondering what the requirements are for placing your baby. Everything you need will be provided for you. Adoption Choices of Missouri will provide you with any needed resources, including counseling after birth. Missouri has regulations set in place for things you can require the adoptive family to pay for as well. Any or all of these will be stated in an adoption plan.
The following are adoptive family expenses that Missouri accepts:
- Medical costs related to maternity
- Housing for birth mother during pregnancy
- Transportation, food, and lodging for required travel
- Maternity clothes
- Other expenses the court deems necessary
You have control through the entire adoption process
An unwanted or unplanned pregnancy can be a time when you feel like you don’t have a lot of control. But you do have control over the adoption process. Missouri requires you to wait 48 hours after birth to terminate your parental rights. You have the final say on everything that happens with your pregnancy and child up until those 48 hours after birth. After giving consent to terminate your parental rights, the adoption becomes final.
After contacting Adoption Choices of Missouri, you will work with someone to create your adoption plan. All of your decisions and requirements will be written out for everyone involved to agree with. Your own adoption specialist will make sure your wishes are carried out. You decide on the adoptive family and how much communication you’ll have with the child after birth if any. You can choose an open, semi-open, or closed adoption.
The birth father’s role in the adoption process
Adoption can proceed whether or not the father of the child is involved. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here to provide resources and legal guidance if he is unknown or unsupportive. The birth father’s role is not black and white, so adoption laws will be applied to your specific situation. We know relationships can be messy, so you will have help figuring out what is best for your child.
Missouri law does not require his consent if the birth father is unknown. The birth father’s consent is also not needed if he is deemed unfit. For example, certain disabilities or already-terminated parental rights make him unfit.
Consent is required from putative or presumed fathers who have not been deemed unfit. A putative father is a man who is not married to the birth mother and legally claims the child. Missouri has a putative father registry, and consent will be required if he is on it. A presumed father is married to the birth mother or has been divorced from her within 300 days of birth.
If you’re unsure of how to gain consent or if you need it, we will advise you. We get to know you and your situation to send you in the right direction. We provide legal counsel to make sure the process is as smooth as possible. No matter how overwhelmed you are, we will be fighting for you and your baby’s rights.
Adoption Choices of Missouri will help you create an adoption plan
It can be hard to know how to give a baby up for adoption. Adoption Choices of Missouri takes the pressure off of you by assigning you a Birth Parent Counselor. Together you will look at your situation and create an adoption plan. Paperwork will outline how you want your adoption to look. This includes any financial assistance you need and the involvement you want to have with the adoptive family going forward.
You will sit down with the adoption specialist and look at adoptive family profiles to find out who you think fits best. Once you choose the adoptive family, you will be matched. They will provide the support you need to make pregnancy easiest for you and the baby.
When it comes time to give birth, a birth hospital plan will already be in place. This will state who has access to you and the baby. In addition, your adoption specialist will be at the hospital to advocate for you.
You can choose adoption any time during pregnancy or after birth
There is always time to choose adoption. Adoption agencies are here for you whenever you decide to put your child up for adoption. You may have known the moment you found out you were pregnant that you were not ready for motherhood. You may have found out you could not give your child the life you wanted to after bringing them home. Every situation is different, but we understand. We know you only want the best for your child, and we will help you make that happen.
If you are a woman wondering if adoption is possible for you and your baby, we can walk you through the 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 816-527-9800.