Missouri Open Adoption Guide
A guide to open adoption in Missouri.
Are you living in Missouri and thinking about making an open adoption plan for your baby? For many expectant/birth mothers who wish to have a relationship with their child and their child’s adoptive family, open adoption is a positive choice. Open adoption brings comfort and a sense of peace of mind for many women, as it is not “goodbye” forever. In fact, open adoption is just the beginning.
Open adoption means that an expectant/birth parent and an adoptive family have an open relationship with one another, during the adoption process and/or after placement. It allows expectant/birth mothers to choose the adoptive parents for her child and maintain an ongoing relationship with them, if desired. If you are considering open adoption in Missouri, you will want to find an open adoption agency that is qualified and has experience with adoptions in the state. Every state has its own open adoption laws and regulations, including Missouri.
Adoptions With Love offers loving, thoughtful, and safe adoption plans for expectant/birth parents in Missouri. Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to ensure women considering this path are met with compassion, respect, and care. We offer a full team of adoption professionals, attorneys, and counselors who are ready to help you in your home state of Missouri. Our services are completely confidential and always free of charge to expectant/birth mothers. When you choose to work with Adoptions With Love, you will feel empowered, having the freedom to decide between closed adoption, open adoption, and semi-open adoption.
How Does Open Adoption in Missouri Work?
Open adoption can look different for every family. There is no single, “right” way to arrange an open adoption. As noted above, open adoption means there is communication between birth parents and adoptive families. The form and frequency of that communication, however, can vary. For example, some birth mothers and adoptive families choose to connect with one another on a weekly or monthly basis. Others may decide to stay connected via email once or twice a year. There are endless options when it comes to setting up an open adoption plan that works for you and the adoptive family. This ongoing communication can start before the adoption is finalized and continues throughout life.
Choosing to work with an open adoption agency in Missouri (like Adoptions With Love), means you have the power to customize an open adoption plan that works best for you. Between video chats, photo updates, and in-person reunions, the choices are vast and can work differently depending upon the relationship you would like to have with your child’s adoptive family. Your adoption counselor can work with you to help you decide what makes you comfortable and can facilitate the arrangement before putting it in an open adoption agreement. The form and frequency for contact is up to you, and your adoption counselor will ensure there is a custom plan in place that meets your needs. This plan may be modified as your needs, and your child’s needs, evolve over the years.
The Benefits of Open Adoption in Missouri
Open adoption in Missouri is a popular choice for families today, because of the benefits it offers to birth mothers, adoptive parents, and most importantly, children.
Many birth mothers today are open about expressing how much open adoption means to them. Katy, a birth mom who made her adoption plan with AWL more than 11 years ago, as a college student, has this to say about adoption:
“I am lucky and truly blessed to have had this experience. The immediate sorrow has been replaced by the joy in fulfilling my own dreams and watching my daughter fulfill hers. I know that her loving and dedicated parents and brother are the answer we both needed. Love is a never-ending circle whether near or far.”
Open adoption can help birth mothers cope and overcome the grief that Katy mentioned. This positive and healthy relationship will help you see for yourself that your child is growing up in a safe, stable, and loving home. There is no question whether your child is happy and growing up in a family that can offer plenty of love, support, and opportunity.
Another beautiful benefit of adoption for birth mothers is the freedom it gives you to continue to work toward your own personal and professional goals, without a permanent “goodbye forever.”
Adopted children also reap the many benefits of open adoption. The arrangement allows them:
- To develop a strong sense of identity
- To build a deeper understanding of their cultural and ethnic heritage
- To have the chance to connect with any other biological relatives
- To gain an understanding of why they were placed for adoption, which helps their relationships with birth parents down the road
Open Adoption After Adoption is Complete
A Missouri open adoption works similarly to open adoption in other states. As you may expect, the adoption process ends once an adoption is finalized legally, but – as we know in the adoption community – the journey never really ends. It becomes a part of all birth and adoptive families’ lives and leaves a lasting impact on the heart and soul.
Reputable adoption agencies, like Adoptions With Love, will coordinate the details regarding the open adoption plan before the adoption process is complete. Over the years, we understand your or your child’s needs may change. Open adoption plans can be modified over the years to accommodate the needs of a growing child, as well as the needs of the birth mother. Your adoption agency will discuss changes that are requested.
Adoption laws can be complicated, and they vary by state. Adoption attorneys that work with Adoptions With Love in Missouri are experts in the legal proceedings and rights and always help expectant/birth mothers – free of charge.
Free Services for Missouri Open Adoptions
Expectant/birth mothers who decide to work with Adoptions With Love have access to free meetings with licensed attorneys and compassionate counselors, specially trained in Missouri adoption. The counselors are caring, patient, and sensitive to your needs during this difficult phase. They will hear your concerns, fears, and wishes, and work tirelessly to make sure you feel supported every step of this journey.
The attorneys will also ensure you are aware of your rights as an expectant/birth mother and will explain any legal proceedings you do not understand. They are the experts with the education and experience, and they can help you learn about the process with an understanding and respect of your feelings.
In addition to the free open adoption and counseling services, Adoptions With Love can offer expectant/birth mothers financial assistance and medical care during and after pregnancy.
A Flexible Adoption Agency for Your Open Adoption
The decision to work with an adoption agency means having more choices throughout the process. Those who work with Adoptions With Love have the power to:
- Choose the adoptive family for your child. Most expectant/birthmothers report that once they find the right family, they feel a sense of relief and calm.
- Decide whether to meet the family before and/or after birth.
- Design an open adoption plan with which you are comfortable.
- Decide whether to form a relationship with your child’s adoptive family.
- Continue free counseling services at Adoptions With Love, where you are always a part of the family.
- Make changes to the open adoption agreement, as needed, with help from your adoption social worker.
As an expectant/birth mother, you have the right to make decisions in the best interest of your baby. If you want some time alone with the baby in the hospital, that is okay. Would you rather the adoptive parents be in the room and hold the baby right away? That is fine, too. There is no right or wrong way to make an adoption plan, as long as you have a trustworthy adoption agency working with you to help you through the process. With an experienced agency like Adoptions With Love, you will be supported. You will never be pressured, judged, or criticized for your decisions.
It is Never Too Late
It is never too late to place your baby for adoption in Missouri. From the first few weeks of pregnancy to the third trimester and beyond, you can always contact Adoptions With Love for support. You can make an adoption plan after baby is born, too. Expectant/birth moms considering open adoption in Missouri can always find support. AWL can send a professional adoption counselor to you, wherever you are. There are never any fees for expectant/birth mothers.
In the great state of Missouri, a birth mother may not sign any legal documents agreeing to the adoption until at least 48 hours (2 days) after the baby is born.
While the term “giving baby up for adoption” is still used in everyday conversation, we know that dated phrase is wrong. The truth is: Lovingly placing a baby for adoption is anything but “giving up.” Making an open adoption plan is a brave, thoughtful, and selfless decision. Not only does adoption not mean saying goodbye forever (remember that open adoption keeps the door open for future relationships), but it also means the start of a wonderful life for your child. As you work through the emotional decision of open adoption, Adoptions With Love is here for you every step of the way.
Do you want to work with an adoption agency that has a long record of compassionately serving Missouri for more than 35 years? Contact us by text (SMS) at 617-777-0072, by phone at 1-800-722-7731, or by message online. We can answer your call any time of day or night, any day of the week.