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The Missouri Adoption Process for Adoptive Parents

If you are a couple hoping to adopt, the process seems challenging. Adoption is an emotional decision. Therefore, you should work with an adoption professional who can guide you every step of the way. 

Beginning the Adoption Process

As an adoptive parent, you have a lot to consider before you even start the adoption process. You need to decide what type of adoption you want. Are you looking for a public or private domestic or international adoption? 

You should also consider if you are open to any race, gender, special needs, or prenatal exposures during pregnancy. Consider how much ongoing contact with the birth mom or birth family you would be open to as well.

Next, complete a home study and a personal profile. Once your profile is finished, it will be shown to potential expectant moms or birth moms. Your wait time will be determined by how soon you are chosen.

Requirements for Adoption in Missouri

There are specific requirements for an individual or couple who wishes to adopt. Adoptions differ depending on the needs of the birth mother and the ability of the adoptive family. Generally, these are the requirements you must have to adopt in Missouri: 

  • Must be over the age of 21
  • Be in good physical and mental health
  • Pass a child abuse and criminal record background check (including fingerprints)
  • Have a stable income
  • Live in a structure (house, apartment, etc.) that meets licensing standards (agree to a “home study”)
  • Be willing to work with the child’s birth family (if applicable)
  • Everyone must be fully committed to the adoption process

Depending on who you choose to work with, there may be certain adoption limitations. For instance, there is no legal age restriction for adoption in Missouri, but many lawyers and agencies suggest age 50 as the cutoff date. Different limitations are also in place for international adoptions, adopting out of foster care, and interstate adoptions.

Financial Expectations in Missouri

In Missouri, it’s illegal to “pay” someone in exchange for their consent to an adoption. Sadly, there are shady adoption “representatives” who will suggest this as an option. Possible scams are one more reason to work with a reputable adoption professional.

You may be asked, however, to pay for certain expenses for your birth mom. Missouri has specific standards for what is considered reasonable and unreasonable expenses for private, domestic adoption. Generally, the types of expenses commonly allowed by statute include: 

  • Maternity-related medical and hospital costs 
  • Temporary living expenses of the mother during pregnancy
  • Counseling services 
  • Reasonable legal fees 
  • Travel costs, meals, and lodging when necessary for court appearances or accessing services

Placement in Missouri

After a child is born, the birth mother must wait at least 48 hours before giving consent to terminate her parental rights. If both birth parents gave consent properly, it becomes final and cannot be changed. As a result, the right of a birth parent to change their mind afterward is limited. Finalization usually occurs six months after placement with the adoptive family.

Many of the requirements for adoption are easier to fulfill when adoptive families choose a qualified agency. An agency will put together the necessary paperwork, set up the court hearing, and assist you through the process. They also help you obtain a new birth certificate and other records.

Let Us Assist You

A Gift of Hope Adoptions is a licensed Missouri adoption agency based in Columbia, Missouri. Not only do we serve the entire state, but we can also assist you if you are located outside of Missouri. If you want to adopt, we are here to serve you. Although adoption is an emotional and challenging journey, we promise to be alongside you every step of the way. Contact us today.

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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.
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“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.”