4 Things You Should Know About How to Put a Baby up for Adoption in Missouri
Mothers across the country give their baby up for adoption, often giving their child to families across state lines. Regardless of where you live, there are a lot of things to consider, and Missouri is no exception. Each state has something different, especially in terms of laws and local issues. Your adoption specialist will assist you in the adoption process, but there are occasions where we just can’t think of all the right questions to ask. As you discuss your choice with family and others who are involved, guide your research with the things below.
1. Birth Father’s Paternity Right
The adoption process is finalized when the parental rights of the birth parents are terminated. Fathers are important to families, and states have passed laws to make things fair for fathers. If your baby’s father is absent, unknown, or unsupportive of the adoption, his paternal rights will have to be a factor before adoption can take place. If a father’s paternity has been legally established, his paternity rights will have to be terminated before the adoption proceeds.
Missouri assumes paternity if the child was born while he was married to the birth mom or within 300 days after the marriage ended or if blood tests prove paternity with a 98% probability. A father whose name is on the birth certificate is not automatically the legal father and does not have parental rights, speak to your adoption caseworker or your legal adviser to learn more. Either biological parent can file a petition for paternity through a state court. Paternity can also be established when both parents sign an acknowledgment of paternity and file it with the court. If the birth father is unknown, it is still possible to proceed with the help of your adoption specialist.
2. Requirements for Adoptive Parents
Depending on where you are in the Missouri adoption process, you may have already picked an adoptive family or still be looking. Your adoption specialist will help you get familiar with your child’s new family, but Missouri’s laws have a few requirements for adoptive parents. These include:
- Be 21 years of age or older
- Criminal record check
- Child abuse and negligent check
- Undergo a home study
The presence of a criminal record does not disqualify a prospective family by default, but they may not be able to adapt depending on what’s on their record. Additionally, Missouri does not have marital requirements for adoptive parents.
3. Open Adoption in Missouri
The image of the adopted young adult who journeys to find his or her biological parents and ultimately finds either joy or disappointment is at the forefront of the adoption perception. Although there are many adopted children who don’t know their birth parents, there is an increasing number who do. The closed adoption where the child does not have knowledge or contact with their original parents was the only option for adoption decades ago. Now, open and semi-open adoptions are increasingly common. In open adoptions, biological parents keep in communication with the child as they grow up. In semi-open adoptions, birth parents and adoptive families communicate through a mediator, so the privacy of both parties is protected. Information that you don’t want to be shared will not be given. Carefully consider your needs as you decide what’s best. Laws on adoption vary from state to state, so post-adoption agreements may be enforced differently depending on where you live. Open adoption agreements are not legally binding in Missouri.
4. You Can Receive Financial Assistance
Birth mothers can receive financial assistance for housing, medical care, and other expenses during the adoption process. At the same time, birth mothers are not paid to place their children for adoption, which is illegal in Missouri. The amount you receive will depend on factors in your situation, such as income as well as state limits. Help from the adoptive family is allowed but with court restrictions. Adoption is always free of charge to birth mothers.
How We Can Help You When Placing Your Baby up for Adoption in Missouri
Adoption Choices of Missouri is happy to help you get the financial support you need. We help you develop an adoption plan and navigate any challenges you experience during the process. This includes getting legal help, safe housing, medical care, and other essentials. Don’t be shy to reach out to us through our website’s contact form or a phone call when you’re 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.