Birth Mother Blog

The Pros and Cons of Adoption with a Family Member vs. Private Adoption in Missouri

Are you a birth mother considering adoption in Missouri, trying to decide between adoption with a family member vs. private adoption? You may be feeling very conflicted trying to decide between your own family versus picking out an adoptive family through an adoption agency. There are so many different positive and negative aspects that apply to each adoption option.

The Pros and Cons of Adoption with a Family Member

You may be heavily considering adoption with a family member, aka relative adoption or kinship adoption. Kinship adoption is defined as when an adult adopts an eligible family member. In this case, you would be placing your baby with a dependable and trustworthy family member.

Pros of Kinship Adoption

The pros of kinship adoption almost write themselves. After all, who better to place your baby with than a reliable family member? It is only natural that you would want to place your baby for adoption with a family member when you already trust this person you have known your whole life. Just please make sure that you are choosing a family member because you genuinely want them to raise your baby, not to simply placate or appease a family member who would otherwise disapprove of you choosing adoption.

Kinship adoption can seem like the obvious choice, especially if you are considering an open adoption. This is a great way to make sure that you will be able to see your baby over the years, at least during the holidays or at family reunions. Alternatively, you can still see your baby if you choose a private adoption with an adoption agency. You just have to tell them that the type of adoption you are choosing is an open adoption, in which case you will be able to maintain contact with your baby and dictate your own level of involvement in his or her life.

Maybe you are even hoping that if you choose a family member, then you will see your baby so much that one day you will even get to resume being the parent. However, please understand that adoption is a legally permanent termination of your parental rights, so choosing a family member does not necessarily mean that you will get to be a parent again later on. If you are looking for something less permanent, then a temporary guardianship with a family member may be a better fit for you.

Cons of Kinship Adoption

Unfortunately, the reality is that, good or bad, this will permanently change the dynamic and relationship you have with this family member. Your relative will be the official parent and guardian of your baby, which means they will have the final say once the adoption process is completed. This can be a harsh daily reminder that you have given up your parental rights and make you feel like an outcast around your own family when an issue arises. You must keep in mind that you will have to respect their final say and decisions as the parent.

If you do choose kinship adoption, please seriously consider how it may confuse parenting roles or affect future relationships with your family. Disagreements over parenting styles can lead to some major conflicts within the family. Try to think of any and all scenarios that might complicate the family dynamic. There is nothing worse than a disagreement that causes a rift between family members. Your family should be a support system that provides comfort and relief, not a source of stress or conflict.

The Pros and Cons of Private Adoption

The other type of adoption you may be considering is private adoption, or domestic infant adoption. Even though “domestic infant adoption” may seem like a mouthful, it simply means that a birth parent willingly and voluntarily places their baby for adoption with the adoptive family of their choice.

Pros of Private Adoption

Perhaps kinship adoption just isn’t for you. Maybe you and your family have very different fundamental views on things that are important to you, like religion, race, or LGBT equality. That is why going through an adoption agency like Adoption Choices of Missouri would be beneficial to you. We welcome people from all creeds and walks of life with our open, nondiscriminatory practices.

Maybe you and your family agree on all of those points, but you just want more control over the adoption process without your family trying to take charge of everything. Choosing a private adoption through our adoption agency means that you are the decision maker and have the final say in everything. Adoption is your decision, and you should be the one who gets to choose the adoptive family and make your own adoption plan. You will be the one who lays out the blueprints for your adoption plan and who sets the ground rules for how much involvement you would like post placement when you choose which type of adoption is right for you.

Not only does choosing a private adoption through our adoption agency mean that placing your baby for adoption will be at absolutely no cost to you, but we are a full-service agency that provides financial assistance. This means that you will receive help with things like rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, hospital fees, legal representation, and more, as long as you are eligible. We even provide support counseling afterwards to help you adjust to post-placement life and to deal with the grief that comes from the loss of parenthood.

Cons of Private Adoption

Going through an adoption agency means that you will not know the adoptive family beforehand. Placing your baby with a stranger can certainly seem scary or make you hesitate. However, you should note that Adoption Choices of Missouri is also a fully licensed adoption agency. As a fully licensed agency, all of our adoptive families are pre-screened and pre-qualified, so that your baby will be going to a safe and loving home, no matter what.

Whether You Decide Between Adoption with a Family Member vs. Private Adoption, Don’t Wait to Contact an Adoption Agency 

Whether you decide adoption with a family member vs. private adoption is right for you, do not hesitate or wait to contact a suitable adoption agency today. Either way, adoption is a beautiful act of love for your baby that should never be rushed. The longer you wait, the less time you will have to make sure that everything is just right.

If you have chosen a kinship adoption, please really consider all of the different scenarios that may affect your relationship with your family as a result of choosing adoption with a family member. Make it clear to them what parenting styles are important to you and set any boundaries or ground rules for how involved a parent you would like to be ahead of time.

If you have chosen a private adoption, you will want to make sure that you have plenty of time to select and meet the adoptive family you have chosen. No matter what type of family you choose from our adoptive family portfolios, your baby will be placed in a nurturing and loving home. Adoption Choices of Missouri is here for you as a fully licensed, full-service agency.

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 1-816-527-9800

Meet the Author: Kelly Felix is a graduate from the University of New Orleans. She holds a BA in English as well as a BA in Sociology. Her English concentration is in journalism, and her specialties in sociology are gender studies and environmental sociology.

When she isn’t voraciously guzzling coffee or devouring books, Kelly can be found either bent over a canvas working on her art or at her computer playing video games. She has hands-on classroom teaching experience from her time working as a substitute teacher for Kelly Services. Kelly also completed an in-house editorial internship at Pelican Publishing Company, and she finished the goal internship program at Green Light New Orleans. Kelly generally exists in a state of suspended disbelief, but when she’s not there she resides in New Orleans.