If you are a woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, odds are you have many different emotions, fears and questions about what you should do. Deciding not only your future, but also the future for your child, can seem like a daunting task.
You do not have to go through your pregnancy alone; professional help is always available.
Whether you are actively considering adoption in Columbia, Missouri, or are just looking for information on the adoption options available to you, this article will educate you on everything you need to know. Want immediate assistance? Contact an adoption professional now to discuss your situation and options or to begin the Columbia adoption process whenever you’re ready.
If you are researching your options, continue reading our guide for more information on placing a baby for adoption in Columbia, MO.
How to ‘Give Up’ a Baby for Adoption in Columbia, MO
Before we get into the details of adoption in Columbia, we need to address a common misconception about mothers who choose adoption for their babies. Although you will see the term “give up” or “giving away” a baby throughout articles and other adoption resources, choosing adoption is no way “giving up” or “giving away” your baby. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
Adoption ensures your child has the best opportunities throughout their life. A prospective birth mother makes a selfless and brave decision to put the needs of her child first — not because she is “giving up on” the child or herself. We encourage you to use positive adoption language (like “place for adoption”) to fight the negative connotations of traditional adoption language and its effects on birth parents.
The 5 Steps in the Columbia Adoption Process
When a prospective birth mother wants to pursue adoption, the process consists of five steps. Each of these steps will have their own set of requirements and tasks, but these five are the best way to stay on track toward a successful adoption.
Step 1: Make the Decision to Pursue Adoption
It may sound simple in the grand scheme of things, but the decision to pursue adoption is a life-changing choice and takes plenty of research, thought and planning. Columbia adoption professionals will help educate you on the process and guide you through the steps ahead.
The decision to place your baby for adoption is important, but finding the right professional is equally as important, as it will dictate the overall outcome and experience of your adoption in Columbia, Missouri.
Step 2: Find an Adoption Agency in Columbia and Make an Adoption Plan
Once you have decided adoption is the best opportunity for you and your baby, finding the right Columbia adoption agency to assist you throughout your pregnancy should be a top priority.
The best agency will guide you through the adoption process and help you create an adoption plan. This plan will basically lay out how you would like the adoption to progress. You will discuss and plan details such as the traits and characteristics of the perfect family for your baby, the type of relationship you hope to have with your child and the adoptive family, the hospital at which you will deliver your child and many other important details.
Here are options for adoption agencies near Columbia, Missouri, that you may consider contacting:
- American Adoptions
1125 Grand Blvd., Suite 1301
Kansas City, MO 64106
- A Gift of Hope
303 N. Stadium Blvd., #200
Columbia, MO 65203
- Lutheran Family and Children’s Services
307 Locust St.
Columbia, MO 65201
- Adoption Choices of Kansas and Missouri
4435 Main St., #920
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Step 3: Choose an Adoptive Family for Your Baby
The family you place your baby with will ultimately influence your child’s upbringing. To say that finding the best family for your child is important would be an understatement.
When you and your adoption professional are considering adoptive families for your baby, you will be provided adoptive family profiles to review, based on the characteristics you want the family to have. These profiles will include pictures, videos and information to give you a look into their personalities and backgrounds, which helps you form an emotional connection with them.
Oftentimes, after a prospective birth mother has narrowed down the families she is considering, she has the opportunity to communicate with them through pre-adoption phone calls, emails or in-person visits. This helps her get to know them better and confirm she’s made the right choice for her child.
When the prospective birth mother is comfortable enough, she will decide which family she would like to place her child with. At this point, her adoption professional and the adoptive family will begin preparing for delivery and placement.
Step 4: Complete Your Columbia Adoption Placement
In Missouri, a child must be born at least 48 hours before a prospective birth mother can give the consent for adoption. When giving consent, the birth mother voluntarily signs her legal parental rights away; that way, the family she has chosen can officially adopt her baby.
You’ll want to be certain of your adoption decision prior to signing consent forms, as it is very difficult to overturn consent during an adoption in Columbia.
Step 5: Adjust to Life Post-Placement
Going through the adoption process can be an incredibly difficult and emotional journey. The post-placement portion is no different; many birth parents consider it to be the most emotionally challenging step in the process. Fortunately, throughout your pregnancy and well after, counseling services are available to make sure you get the help you may need.
If you are considering putting your baby up for adoption in Columbia, Missouri, please complete a contact form to be connected with a local professional.
Financial Assistance During Pregnancy
One thing we need to be clear on: Prospective mothers do not “get paid” for placing a baby for adoption in Columbia. Selling or buying a baby is illegal.
There are, however, many adoption-related expenses that may be paid for by the prospective adoptive parents on behalf of the prospective birth mother. This is to ensure the health and safety of her and her baby. A prospective birth mother also receives adoption agency services for free, so the agency can guide her through adoption without financial burden.
Other means of financial assistance for adoption is available in Missouri. This assistance helps cover expenses such as the prospective birth mother’s medical bills related to pregnancy and birth, as well as other reasonable costs that can be associated with pregnancy. This way, a prospective mother does not feel pressured to make certain decisions based on the costs surrounding pregnancy and childbirth.
To determine what assistance is available for you, contact an adoption professional. Specialists will be able to evaluate your personal situation and address the applicable financial aspects of adoption.
Prospective Birth Fathers Rights During a Columbia Adoption
Prospective birth father rights in Missouri are regulated by Missouri state laws. How the laws will impact your adoption will depend upon your specific situation. You will want to speak with an adoption attorney to get all of the facts, because these birth father rights may impact your adoption.
The adoption agency you choose will help you find the legal representation you need — not only to guide you through the legalities of this step but also to connect you with legal advice throughout your adoption in Columbia. An attorney will be required; there are many steps with precise documentation and adherence to local and national laws.
If you prefer to speak with an attorney prior to selecting an agency, you may consider contacting any of the following Columbia adoption lawyers:
Finding an Adoptive Family in Columbia, Missouri
Finding adoptive parents in Missouri (or another state, if you choose) is one of the most important and fulfilling steps in the adoption process.
Your adoption specialist will provide you with adoptive family profiles based on the characteristics and traits that you want in an adoptive family. These profiles will include pictures, videos and background information on the hopeful adoptive family.
When it comes to her adoption in Columbia, Missouri, a prospective birth mother is in complete control of the families she wants to meet. These meetings, although not a requirement, generally provide a better feel for one another and help create a true connection among both parties.
Once she feels comfortable with a specific family, the prospective birth mother will officially enter into an adoption opportunity with them. The two parties can continue getting to know each other throughout the pregnancy via emails, calls and in-person meetings.
Take your time and research each family before making any decisions. You want what is best for your child, and finding the best family for your child is an important part of that.
Open Adoption with Your Child
You may think that once you place a child for adoption, they are gone forever, and you will never hear from or see them again. This does not have to be the case. For birth mothers hoping to remain in contact with the adoptive family and their child, open adoption is a perfect solution.
Adoptions do not have to be open if you do not want them to be, and there are many different levels of “openness.” There is no exact definition of an open adoption in Columbia, MO. It’s all up to the post-placement agreement between a prospective birth mother and adoptive family.
The different levels of post-placement contact include:
- Open adoption, in which you share identifying information (like last names, phone numbers, addresses, etc.) with the adoptive family and have ongoing contact through phone calls, email, text messages, visits or other forms of contact.
- Semi-open adoption includes some form of contact, but it does not necessarily include in-person meetings. Both parties put specific guidelines in place to respect personal boundaries.
- Closed adoption involves very little or no contact at all with the adoptive family after placement.
If you are in a situation where you want to remain involved in your child’s life, open adoption can provide you with that opportunity. Keep in mind this agreement is not necessarily legally binding, and your relationship will evolve over time.
Make sure to voice your preferences for your adoption in Columbia, MO, to your professional. That way, they will only present potential families who share the same goals and desires. If you have any questions, you can find more information on open adoption in Missouri here.‘
Your Other Options During Your Unplanned Pregnancy
Experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or unwanted pregnancy in Columbia, MO, can be very troubling. It is important to consider all of your options before making any decisions. Women have three options for their unplanned pregnancy: parenting, adoption or abortion.
Seeing how pregnancy only lasts nine months, you’ll need to make a decision sooner rather than later. Different laws on abortion limit when this option can be utilized, so inform yourself before making any major decisions. Whether you choose to become a parent, have an abortion or place your child for adoption, there will be pros and cons to think about.
An unplanned pregnancy counselor can offer 24/7 support no matter what your stage of pregnancy. They can talk you through the options available during an unplanned pregnancy and provide you with resources that will help you make your decision.
Ultimately, it’s important to have a professional by your side, no matter what option you are considering. You don’t have to experience such an emotional time on your own.
For more information on your unplanned pregnancy options in Columbia, Mo., speak with your local.
Your Next Steps to ‘Give a Baby Up’ for Adoption in Columbia
An unplanned pregnancy can be a lot to handle on your own. You should have the best resources available to help guide you through your pregnancy. No matter what path you decide to take, you can contact us today to begin exploring your options and to be referred to a local adoption professional.