How to Adopt a Baby in Missouri

What You Need to Know About Adopting in Missouri

If you’re looking for information about adopting babies in Missouri, you’ve come to the right place. As all states do, the Show-Me State has its own sets of laws and practices when it comes to adoption, so brushing up on your knowledge when hoping to adopt is a great place to start.

Requirements to Adopt in Missouri

To adopt a baby with American Adoptions, we have a few requirements. You must:

  • Be between the ages of 22 and 50, although exceptions may be made in some cases

  • Have moved on completely from infertility

  • Make sure both spouses are fully committed to adoption

  • Understand that the adoption process brings with it many ups and downs

To learn more about the requirements for adopting a baby in Missouri, see “Adoption Requirements in Missouri.”

Guide to the Adoption Home Study in Missouri

Before adopting a child in Missouri, you’ll be required to complete a home study. This is an assessment of your suitability to adopt performed by a licensed social worker. It evaluates not only your readiness to adopt, but also prepares you for the process and serves to help match you with potential birth parents.

The necessary home study for adopting a baby in Missouri has three components:

  1. A documentation phase

  2. An in-home visit

  3. A home inspection

The home study can be intimidating at first, but the important thing to remember is that this process is designed to prepare you for adoption. For more information about home studies in Missouri, see “Adoption Home Study in Missouri.”

Finding an Adoption Opportunity in Missouri

American Adoptions helps hundreds of families match with birth parents to form adoption opportunities each year. We believe our success is in large part due to the range of services we offer, including:

  • Advertising and Marketing. American Adoptions has its own media team that works to reach pregnant women across the country. The more women considering adoption we connect with, the more opportunities we’ll have to present to adoptive families that work with us (and vice versa.)

  • Screening and Counseling. The women who choose American Adoptions to help place their child for adoption receive 24/7 access to educational resources and counseling from our social workers. There will never be a time when a birth mom can’t reach us for help or advice or simply to talk through what she’s experiencing. The happier and more secure she is in her adoption decision, the better for everyone involved.

  • Adoptive Family Profiles and Video Profiles. Our media team works to create materials to show birth moms who you are and what a child’s life would be like if raised in your home. It’s tough to convey, which is why we create video profiles as well. A woman doesn’t just have to read your account of your home life; she can actually see you living it.

How to Finalize Your Adoption in Missouri

Every adoptive parent looks forward to their finalization hearing, and it makes complete sense. After all, that’s the day your child is officially and legally yours! However, a few steps must happen before you’re truly finished adopting a new born baby. As an adoptive parent, you should be familiar with:

  • Termination of Parental Rights. In Missouri, biological parents cannot terminate their parental rights until the baby is at least 48 hours old. The parents are required to provide parental consent, and they can revoke it at any point until a judge acknowledges it.

  • Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) Clearance. If you adopted your child from outside Missouri, you will need to comply with all ICPC guidelines. ICPC was put in place to make sure that all adoptions between states, which frequently have different adoption laws, are all legal and ethical.

  • Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) Clearance. ICWA was put in place to protect tribal children and to keep them with other Indian families when possible. This doesn’t mean you can’t adopt a Native American child, but it does mean that there will be additional steps for you to complete if you aren’t a member of a tribe yourself.

  • Post-Placement Visits. Prior to your finalization hearing, your home study provider will visit you at home to ensure everyone is adjusting appropriately to the newest member of the family.

When all of these steps (if applicable) have been completed, it will then be time for your finalization hearing. For more information about the final legal steps of adopting a baby in the U.S., see “Adoption Finalization in Missouri.”

Missouri Adoption Laws

Since adoption laws vary from state to state, it’s helpful to know all about them before attempting to adopt a child in Missouri. A few Missouri laws you may need to know are:

  • Any adult or married couple can adopt in Missouri.

  • Individuals with a criminal background may be able to adopt, but if those crimes were violent or involved children, it’s not likely that the person would be eligible.

  • Adoptive parents can advertise for birth parents in Missouri.

  • Adoptive parents can also pay for pregnancy-related expenses for the birth parents.

  • Missouri does have a putative father registry.

  • A birth mother can consent to an adoption once 48 hours have passed since the baby’s birth.

  • A birth father may consent to an adoption at any point after the baby is born.

For more information about adoption in the Show-Me State, see “Missouri Adoption Laws.”

Foster Care and Adoption in Missouri

Missouri has 13,000 children in its foster care system, and 1,200 of them are legally available for adoption. These are children who have been removed from their homes for reasons such as neglect, abuse, or parents who are unable to care for them for other reasons.

If you’re more interested in adopting a child who’s older than adopting a baby, adopting from the foster care system may be a perfect option for you. It costs nothing to become a foster parent, and costs to permanently adopt a child from the foster care system are minimal. To become a foster parent in Missouri, you must be 21 or older, healthy, have a steady income, and live in a home that meets Missouri licensing standards. For more information about how to become a foster parent or how to adopt from the foster system, see “Foster Care Adoption in Missouri.”

International Adoption in Missouri

If you’re a Missouri family interested in adopting a child from another country, this is an option for you as well. While American Adoptions only helps to complete domestic adoptions, we can absolutely help you learn about adopting children from a foreign country.

When pursuing international adoption, there are two big choices to make (after, of course, settling on adopting from overseas):

  1. Choose a country from which to adopt. This will depend on several of your personal preferences, but it will also shape the way your adoption takes place.

  2. Choose an agency to help you complete your international adoption. This will be a decision you must make after choosing a country to adopt from, as some international adoption professionals specialize in certain regions.

The rest of the international adoption process will vary depending on those two choices. For more information about international adoption for Missouri families, see “International Adoption in Missouri.”

For more information about adoption in Missouri, call 1-800-ADOPTION, or request free information here.





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