Rights of the Birth Mother in Your State

baby holding its parents hands

No matter what state you live in, all birth mothers have certain guaranteed rights, such as choosing what’s best for your child. But, in other matters, adoption laws do vary by state. Working with an adoption agency or specialist who understands your state’s rights is vital.

Do You Understand Adoption Terms?

The adoption process can seem overwhelming if you don’t understand some terms. The following is a short list of adoption terms that may help:

  • Expectant Mother – a woman who is currently pregnant
  • Birth Mother or Birth Parent – the biological mother who has given birth and is choosing adoption
  • Potential Birth Mother – the biological mother who has given birth and considering adoption
  • Birth Parents – both the biological mother and father considering adoption
  • Adoptee – a child who is adopted
  • Adoption – a legal and permanent decision terminating the parental rights and responsibilities of the birth parents and giving them to the adoptive parents
  • Adoption Plans – the three adoption plans a birth mother can choose from are open, semi-open, and closed
  • Adoption Decree -the legal document issued by the courts during finalization, which formalizes the relationship between the adoptee and adoptive parents and is legally binding
  • Finalization – the adoptee becomes the legal child of the adoptive parents
  • Post-Adoption Contact Agreement – Agreement between birth parents and adoptive families that formalize the type and frequency of contact after adoptive placement and throughout the adoptee’s childhood

What Are the Rights of All Birth Mothers?

Regardless of the state, all birth mothers have certain rights. The following is a list of the rights every birth parent should have:

  • Choose what is best for your child, whether that is adoption or remaining with the biological family
  • Receive proper prenatal medical care at no cost to you
  • Select the perfect family for your child
  • Know that the adoptive parents are legally qualified by your state to adopt
  • Meet the potential adoptive couple
  • Remain anonymous if you desire
  • Voluntarily provide written consent of your desire to place your child for adoption unless the courts previously terminated your rights
  • Receive a full explanation of the adoption process and how it pertains to your situation
  • Be represented by an attorney and receive counseling at no cost to you

What Are the Rights of Birth Mothers by State?

Several specific adoption issues vary from state to state and can regularly change. When considering adoption, be aware of the differences and ask how they apply in your state. The following rights are different according to state laws:

  • The minimum amount of time required after a birth mother has given birth before she can sign the consent to place for adoption
  • If a birth mother changes her mind after signing the papers, some states allow her to revoke the consent (“reclaim”), but there are different time frames
  • Most states allow birth mothers to receive specific assistance with expenses such as rent, medical fees, groceries, transportation, etc.
  • Post-adoption contact agreements range from a mutual understanding to a formal contract, and some states make the agreement enforceable
  • The hospital arrangements between the birth mother and adoptive parents vary even within a state

Are You Curious About Missouri’s Adoption Laws?

Placing your child for adoption is one of the most significant decisions you will ever make, and we want you to have as much information as possible.

If you have questions about a birth mother’s rights in the state of Missouri, please give us a call. We’ll be happy to provide information for Missouri, as well as other states’ adoption laws. 

Fill out our confidential online contact form or call 1-888-564-HOPE.

This blog is for informational purposes only. This is not legal or medical advice. While we try our best to reflect current laws with accuracy at the time of writing, please note the laws can change over time. 

What Questions Can We Answer?

waiting families Request free information


Elizabeth and A Gift of Hope have been a touchstone during our adoption process. Having had issues with a previous agency – Elizabeth was a breath of fresh air! Reassuring, supportive and empathetic. We are so in love with our daughter and thank A Gift of Hope everyday for her!

AGOHA is a great agency that has provided amazing support and guidance though the adoption process. Would highly recommend AGOHA!

Our family has used their services for adoption. It’s wonderful dealing with someone who is looking out for the whole child, not just placing kids.

A Gift of Hope Adoptions is a Godsend for so many expectant young mothers. I completely recommend this organization for anyone interested in providing a wonderful life for their soon-to-be baby. This organization is also a Godsend for those of us who cannot have our own biological children.

I have recommended A Gift of Hope Adoptions to several mother’s considering adoptions for their babies. They have been so happy to feel supported and empowered through their decision.
Read more…

“We adopted both of our sons through A Gift of Hope Adoptions. They helped us every step of the way and answered all the questions we had, and we had a lot! We would not be where we are today, with two busy boys in our family, if it wasn’t for A Gift of Hope.”

“We decided to use A Gift of Hope Adoptions because they are very personal and caring. The wait and uncertainty of adoption seemed daunting, but A Gift of Hope helped make the process go smoothly, and we couldn’t be happier with our beautiful child.”