Financial Assistance for Birth Mothers: Helpful Resources for Adoption in Missouri
By Zoë Bowlus
If you’re an expectant mother giving a child up for adoption in Missouri, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed right now. You may be thinking to yourself, “I’m considering adoption for my baby, but I can’t afford an agency.” Now that you’re pregnant, it’s especially important to prioritize your physical and mental health. You need to focus on taking care of yourself and your baby. The last thing you need right now is to be stressed about financial worries. Fortunately, you are not alone. There are many sources of financial assistance for birth mothers. It takes a village to bring a child into this world and, as a birth mother, you have access to plenty of services and programs that will ensure you have a safe, healthy pregnancy and a smooth adoption process.
If you choose to place your baby for adoption, there are no costs for you. You may even be eligible for financial assistance, depending on your unique circumstances and needs. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we will help you get the financial support you need to cover any pregnancy and adoption expenses.
Financial Assistance through Our Agency
Adoption Choices of Missouri offers services and support for birth mothers at no cost. You will work with an adoption caseworker, your trusted guide, resource, and advocate. They will help you through every step of your pregnancy and adoption journey and are available 24/7 for support. Here are some of the ways they can help:
- Making an Adoption Plan: Your adoption caseworker will provide you with all the insight you need to create an adoption plan that suits your needs and preferences. You will be matched with an adoptive family you trust to love and care for your baby.
- Medical Care: Your prenatal appointments and any hospital fees will be covered.
- Transportation: If you need rides to your doctor’s office or the pharmacy, your adoption caseworker will arrange transportation.
- Housing: If you find yourself in an unsafe or stressful living situation, your adoption caseworker will make sure you have a safe place to live.
- Living Expenses: Your adoption caseworker will help assess your financial situation and make sure you receive the support you need to cover living expenses (e.g. rent, food, maternity clothes, and other court-approved expenses). In many cases, your child’s adoptive parents may help cover some of your living expenses as well.
- Mental Health Care: Choosing adoption is incredibly brave! You may experience a jumble of emotions throughout your pregnancy and adoption journey, and that’s totally normal. Luckily, Adoption Choices of Missouri offers counseling throughout your pregnancy and post-placement. Your adoption caseworker will be a source of compassion and emotional support. We can also find a birth mother support group for you.
- Legal Representation: Your rights as a birth mother will be protected. You don’t have to worry about any legal fees. If you choose to work with an adoption attorney, we will pay his or his fees.
Financial Assistance through Government and State Programs
There are also government programs designed to support pregnant women. Your adoption caseworker will help you figure out if you’re eligible for any of these programs and walk you through the application process.
- Medical Care
- MO HealthNet for Pregnant Women (Medicaid) or Show-Me Healthy Babies (SMHB) – Through these state programs, you will receive healthcare coverage throughout your entire pregnancy. Prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum services are provided.
- Healthy Eating: What you eat while you’re pregnant affects not only your health but also your baby’s health, so getting enough food and eating nutritious foods are important priorities. There are a few different programs that will help you cover the cost of healthy groceries.
- WIC Program (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children) – Through WIC, you’ll be able to add healthy foods (e.g. fresh produce, whole wheat bread, eggs) to your diet. A WIC nutritionist will customize a food package that meets your needs. Using your eWIC card (like a debit card), you can shop at approved stores for WIC Approved groceries.
- SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program aka Food Stamp Program) – You’ll receive an EBT card loaded with the amount of food stamp benefits you’re approved to receive. Then, you can buy food at an approved SNAP retailer. You can also buy plants and seeds so you can grow your own food.
- Safe and Affordable Housing: You may be able to receive reduced rent on an apartment through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Additionally, public housing and housing choice vouchers are available through your local Public Housing Agency (PHA).
- Missouri Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – If you need help with utilities, this program will help cover your heating bill from November through March.
It Takes a Village: Financial Assistance for Birth Mothers
If you’re unexpectedly pregnant, it is okay to need help making ends meet throughout your pregnancy. It is okay to be unsure about what you want your adoption journey to look like. Whatever emotions you’re feeling are completely valid. Do not be afraid or ashamed to ask for help or lean on your support network (including your adoption caseworker). You may discover how to access resources that are designed specifically for pregnant women like you.
There are many options for financial assistance for birth mothers. At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we’re here for you, whether we are providing you with our agency’s free services or helping you sign up for government programs. Your and your baby’s best interests, health, nutrition, and safety come first.