Can I Adopt in Missouri?
Applicants in Missouri must be at least 21 years old in order to adopt or foster. You can be single or married. Parents need good physical and mental health. All applicants must have a stable source of income, live in a home that meets state requirements, and be willing to keep in touch with the child’s birth family. Parents will need to pass a criminal background check.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Missouri?
Advertising: An individual or organization commits the crime of child trafficking when they offer, give, or receive, or solicits any money or anything of value for the delivery of a child to another person or organization. A crime is not committed if a person utilizes a child placing agency and lawfully pays for legal services in connection with that agency. § 568.175; 453.014
Relinquishment: Birth parent must wait at least 48 hours after the birth of their child to relinquish parental rights. Consent is final when executed unless the consenting party proves before the final adoption adoption decree that consent came by fraud or duress. § 453.030
Birth parent expenses: The following expenses are permitted in Missouri: counseling services for the parent or child, hospital expenses, preplacement expenses, reasonable legal expenses, living expenses, and other expenses the court deems necessary. § 453.075(1)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Missouri leaves decisions about contact between birth parents and adoptive parents after adoption finalization to the adoptive parents. At the time of this writing contact agreements are not legally enforceable in Missouri. § 453.080(4)
Birth father rights: A putative father registry exists in Missouri for unmarried fathers who wish to receive notice of adoption proceedings. § 192.016
Finalization: Out of 1,258 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 6.8 months. (acf.hhs.gov)
Review Missouri adoption laws in detail.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Missouri?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Missouri have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Missouri, the maximum monthly amount ranges from $232-313. For more information please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate for their child must submit a validation or readoption of a foreign adoption to a State court.
Adoptions in Missouri can be completed through the Department of Social Services.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old. You can own or rent. Parents can be single, married, or divorced. You must complete a home study.
Only licensed child placing agencies may accept a fee for services provided in connection with child placement.
Birth parents must wait at least 48 hours after birth to release their parental rights. Consent is irrevocable unless the consenting party proves before the final adoption decree that consent came under fraud or duress.
Acceptable birth parent expenses include counseling services for the parent or child, hospital expenses, preplacement expenses, reasonable legal expenses, living expenses, and other expenses the court deems necessary.
Post adoption contact agreements are not legally enforceable in Missouri. A putative father registry exists for unmarried fathers to receive notice of adoption proceedings.