How the Adoption Process Works in Missouri
By Moki Murillo
Pregnancy, especially an unplanned pregnancy, can change a woman’s life forever. Unfortunately, not everyone is willing or even able to handle the responsibility of raising children.
Have you recently received a positive pregnancy test but are not ready to raise the child? Then perhaps you should have your child put up for adoption.
You may instinctively recoil at the suggestion. After all, society tells us that giving children up for adoption is essentially the same as abandoning them. However, this is far from the case. Adoption Choices of Missouri has worked with many birth mothers in our time in the field. We know that most birth mothers are self-aware of their own circumstances and are thinking about their child’s future. Unfortunately, the subject of adoption has been littered by stereotypes and misinformation over the years.
Our agency wants to help change that. Hopefully, knowing more about the adoption process will help you consider the option in a fair and honest light.
The Adoption Process
To begin, you must first make contact with one of our adoption agencies in Missouri. You can call or text the agency via the number found on our website. Our representative will then schedule a meeting with one of our birth parents specialists. You need to bring proof of pregnancy, but afterward, your specialist will help you make an adoption plan.
Your adoption plan will allow you to screen through potential adoptive families and choose which one adopts your baby. You can interview these families personally, and this communication can even be regular throughout your pregnancy. However, these benefits are only available to certain adoption types. If you don’t want any contact with the adoptive family after placement, then choose closed adoptions. Open adoptions, however, allow you to have a relationship with the adoptive family. You might even have the chance to meet your child if both you and the adoptive parents consent. There are even semi-open adoptions, which allow you to receive updates on your child without ever meeting them.
While you are pregnant, you need to keep up with doctor’s appointments and stay in touch with your specialist. At your due date, your specialist should be present at the hospital to act as your advocate as needed. Once the baby is born, your chosen adoptive family will take your child home. Your birth parent specialist will then schedule a court date, where you will officially consent to the adoption.
Our Adoption Services
These are the basic steps of our adoption process, but our service doesn’t end there. Adoption Choices of Missouri is an agency that cares for its birth mothers. If you are eligible, you can access services that should lighten your burden during this often difficult process.
1. Financial Assistance During Adoption
First thing’s first, you will not get paid for adoption. That is both a common myth and very illegal in this country. The adoption process itself is actually free for birth mothers like you.
If you are eligible, your adoption plan can even cover your living and medical expenses within reason. Reasonable living expenses include rent, utilities, groceries, phone service, transportation, and maternity clothes. Additionally, your plan can also cover prenatal care.
Of course, how much financial assistance you will receive will depend on your circumstances. A birth mother living with their parents probably won’t receive as much as a single mother already raising children. The former is likely already supported financially, which is by their parents in this case. We also understand that these circumstances can change within nine months. In that case, contact your birth parent specialist to get the assistance you need.
2. Legal Assistance During Adoption
Adoption in Missouri, like in all other states, is a process that is tied to legal systems. In our experience, any number of legal complications can halt the adoption process. For example, the father of your child might refuse to consent to the adoption. You would most likely need to take the issue to court, and it can be costly.
Thankfully, our adoption agency is willing to advocate for you if such a thing were to happen. If you are eligible, we can cover your adoption-related legal expenses. We can even provide you with legal counseling, but we hope that it won’t come to that.
Adoption can be a difficult process for the birth mother, after all. The last thing we want is for you to face more hardships.
3. Mental Health Support During Adoption
Giving a child up for adoption isn’t easy for the birth mother. Many of the birth mothers we worked with agonized for days before making this decision. While they understand that they have good reason to choose adoption, feelings of regret and anxiety can linger. These feelings can even worsen with pregnancy hormones and conditions like postpartum depression.
These reasons and more are why we offer free mental health support as part of your adoption plan. If you are eligible, your mental healthcare expenses can be covered by your plan. In addition to one-on-one therapy, we can even provide group therapies and support groups.
4. Continued Support After Adoption
Adoption Choices of Missouri understands that a birth mother’s struggles often do not end after placement. For example, you might need continued mental health support if you suffer from postpartum depression. Thankfully, our adoption agency supports birth mothers even after placement is done.
Your adoption plan can cover your reasonable living and medical expenses for six weeks after placement. If you are eligible, you can even arrange to have continued support after this time passes. For example, we can cover therapy sessions if you have an episode during one of your child’s milestones.
Adoption Choices cares for its birth mothers, so don’t be afraid to reach out.
Choosing Adoption in Missouri
This decision won’t be an easy one. Even if you have the best reasons in the world, your emotions may not always comply with your needs. You will most likely have lows or bad days during this pregnancy. Thankfully, you won’t have to endure these challenges alone.
Our agency will support you at every step of the process. If you are eligible, we will take care of your budget and help to lessen your mental burdens. We could even advocate for you. And best of all, you have the right to be involved in every step of the adoption process. With Adoption Choices, you are allowed to do whatever you need to secure your child’s future.
If you are pregnant and in need of adoption services, call or text Adoption Choices of Missouri today.