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What are the requirements to adopt a child in Missouri?

What are the requirements to adopt a child in Missouri?You are eligible to apply to adopt a child in Missouri if you are at least 21 years old and willing to fulfill adoption requirements that include training, background checks, health exams, financial negotiations, and house inspections. All of these are part of the state’s adoption process.

Requirements may differ depending on where you reside, the adoption agency you work with, and the adoption type you choose to pursue. Working with a knowledgeable family law attorney is often a good idea when considering adopting a child in Missouri. 

What You Need to Know About Missouri’s Adoption Requirements

At the start of their adoption process, the majority of hopeful parents may have several concerns. These can include:

  • The adoption type that’s best for them
  • Which adoption agency is best
  • The expenses involved

This guide will offer answers to these valid concerns. But before diving into any of these specifics, it’s vital to take into account Missouri’s adoption requirements.

Missouri’s Child Adoption Requirements

Your adoption agency and type of adoption are the two main elements that determine which Missouri adoption rules apply to you.

Your Adoption Agency

Adoption agencies offer vital services to guarantee that adoptions are entirely safe, legal, and successful. Most adoption organizations have their own set of guidelines for prospective adoptive parents. Guidelines vary depending on the agency. Be sure to inquire about any Missouri adoption agency you are thinking about partnering with.

Your Type of Adoption

There are three main forms of adoption that prospective parents might pursue, and each has its own requirements for adoption in Missouri.

Domestic infant adoption

Domestic infant adoption refers to the biological mother’s voluntary and lifelong placement of her child for adoption. She then chooses the adoptive family to place the child with.

Foster care adoption

Foster care adoption is adopting a child in foster care whose biological parents’ parental rights have been terminated by a court. The court then will look for a permanent adoptive family.

International adoption

The adoption of a child from another country is known as an international or intercountry adoption. These children, who are typically taken from orphanages, qualify for adoption because their biological parents were unable to take care of them for reasons related to money, the law, or their psychological health.

Foster and adoption requirements

In order to adopt or foster a child in Missouri, you must:

  • be 21 years or older.
  • be physically and mentally healthy.
  • pass a criminal background check with fingerprints, including one for child abuse and neglect.
  • maintain a steady income.
  • reside in a house, apartment, or condo as long as it complies with licensing requirements.
  • be prepared to take part in and finish a free training and evaluation procedure.
  • join a team of professionals that is open to discuss ideas and raise issues.
  • be prepared to connect with the child’s family.
  • be either married or single, with or without youngsters in your house.

The Costs Involved

Adoption fees in Missouri are determined on a case-by-case basis. In a private domestic adoption, the prospective adoptive parents may decide to cover the costs of the prospective biological parent’s care and expenses. This might involve:

  • Food and living costs
  • Counseling
  • Legal expenses
  • Medical costs
  • Utilities
  • Transportation
  • Pre-assessments
  • Post-assessments

The court could decide against approving these costs since Missouri adoption regulations prohibit charging for adoption. Still, any adoption agency may be able to show legitimate expenses associated with each of these costs.

Practical Missouri Adoption Requirements

Adoption goes well beyond what the law allows. There are additional standards that are as important to those set forth by the state — call them “practical adoption requirements.” The practical Missouri adoption criteria are as follows for any aspiring parents:

A full comprehension of the obligations of parenthood.

Adoption is a wonderful way to begin a family and a really lovely depiction of love. However, it’s also a heavy responsibility and, on occasions, a formidable task. Have you discussed your plans with other parents to take the required steps to ensure your child’s success, studied educational literature, and taken the time to reflect on your options?

Planning for the financial expenses involved in adoption.

Have you read anything regarding the typical cost of adoption? Adoption does not need wealth, but you must be ready. In Missouri, having a strategy in place for handling adoption expenses is a realistic prerequisite for adoption.

A dedication to lifelong learning.

Adoption and parenting are never-ending journeys. There are always new things to learn and more avenues to explore. As you assist your child in becoming the person they were meant to be, are you prepared for a lifetime of learning?

Seek expert legal counsel

To guarantee a smooth adoption procedure, regardless of whether you decide to work with an adoption agency, family services, or choose to become adoptive parents on your own, you should seek out a sympathetic legal counsel who is knowledgeable in family law, particularly Missouri adoption laws.

Contact us

If you’re thinking of adopting a child in the state of Missouri, look for legal representation that is knowledgeable with family law, including adoption laws.

To learn more about Missouri’s child adoption requirements, call Shea Kohl Law at (636) 946-9999.

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Shea Kohl Law, LC serves clients in Missouri including St. Charles, Troy and Lincoln and throughout Warren and St. Louis counties. We also serve clients in Illinois.