Birth Mother Blog

Navigating Post-Placement Contact: A Guide for Missouri Birth Parents

Navigating Post-Placement Contact: A Guide for Missouri Birth Parents 

By Maleah Adams

At Adoption Choices of Missouri, we work tirelessly to provide a comprehensive support system that addresses the unique challenges and opportunities that come with the choice of adoption. This journey is paved with complex decisions, particularly for parents facing unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption. Among those considerations is the question of whether—and how—to maintain contact with the child after the adoption has been finalized. This question affects not only birth parents but also adoptive families and, most importantly, the child.

The information provided is for general knowledge only and does not constitute legal advice. Consult with an adoption attorney for specific legal guidance on your situation. 

What is Open Adoption? 

Open adoption is an option to be considered when deciding on the level of openness you wish to have through the adoption process. This type of adoption allows for the birth parents and adoptive families to keep in touch. This contact can occur throughout the birth mother’s pregnancy and/or throughout the child’s life. The term “contact” can mean different things to different families and is conducted with the child’s best interest in mind. 

The Spectrum of Post-Placement Adoption Arrangements

Contact arrangements made post-placement provide a structured way for birth families and adoptive families to maintain a connection after the adoption has been finalized. These arrangements can range from fully open to semi-open or indirect forms of communication. They are tailored to meet the wishes of everyone involved, particularly with the child’s best interests at heart. Listed below are different versions of post-placement contact that can be discussed in your personalized adoption plan.

  1. Direct Contact: This might include scheduled visits or ongoing communication channels. This allows birth parents to remain a part of the child’s life to a mutually agreed extent.
  2. Indirect Contact: Facilitated exchanges, such as letters, emails, or photographs through an adoption agency, can offer a less direct form of ongoing connection.
  3. Legally Enforceable Agreements: Some families may opt for legally enforceable agreements specifying the terms of contact post-adoption.
  4. Informal Agreements: In many cases, families prefer informal agreements that allow for flexibility and adaptation over time, depending on the evolving needs of the child and the families involved.

Post-Adoption Contact Agreements with Adoption Choices of Missouri

Many adoption agencies in Missouri recognize the importance of post-adoption contact agreements. They allow birth and adoptive families to enter into agreements that can include provisions for communication and contact post-adoption. Legal professionals specializing in laws on adoption in Missouri can ensure that agreements are drafted in compliance with state regulations. According to Missouri Legal Services, the law permits contact and communication between the biological parents and the adoptive parents. This contact is at the discretion of both the biological and adoptive parents prior to the adoption. After the adoption is finalized, the agreed-upon level of contact will be permitted unless it is deemed no longer appropriate. Your attorney or adoption agency will provide you with private adoption services and assist you in these procedures. 

The Value of Open Adoption

For the child, maintaining ties with their birth family can play a crucial role in their sense of identity. Birth parents gain the reassurance of knowing how their child is growing, while adoptive parents receive a broader understanding of the child’s background. This comprehensive approach supports the child’s development and well-being, fostering a healthy sense of self.

Deciding on the level and form of post-placement contact is a decision that requires deep reflection and open communication. The well-being of the child should be the main focus, alongside creating an environment that supports their growth and development. Continuous communication can also provide critical information regarding genetic conditions and medical history that might affect the child’s health. Engaging with our experienced adoption counselors and legal advisors is crucial in navigating these complex discussions. We will work to ensure that any agreement made between both parties is both legally sound and emotionally supportive.

Making Informed Decisions with Adoption Choices of Missouri

Creating a post-placement contact arrangement is a meaningful way to honor the relationships between birth families, adoptive families, and the children who bring them together. While the legal landscape provides a foundation for these agreements, the heart of the matter lies in the shared commitment to the child’s best interests. 

By thoughtfully considering and creating these appropriate connections, all parties can contribute to a nurturing and supportive framework for the child’s future. If you have any further questions regarding adoption or post-placement contact, feel free to reach out to Adoption Choices of Missouri.