Whether you are a family hoping to adopt or a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, you may have a number of questions about how to start the adoption process. Here, you can find the resources you need to help you take the first steps toward adoption.
Adoption Agencies in St. Louis
Both expecting mothers and hopeful families will require the help of an adoption professional to complete their adoption plan. Adoption agencies can be particularly beneficial, as they are full-service providers who can help you with every step of the process. Follow the links below to explore some of the adoption professionals in your area:
St. Louis Foster Care Professionals
Parents looking to adopt an older child may want to look into options for foster care near them. In order to be a foster parent in Missouri, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Show proof of a steady income
- Be in good physical condition
- Complete a child abuse and background check
- Complete required training process
If you would like to become a foster parent or learn more about the process, contact one of your local professionals:
- Missouri Alliance for Children and Families
- Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition
- Our Little Haven
- Great Circle
Home Study Providers
The home study is the process in which a social worker reviews your home and family to make sure you are ready to adopt a child. This process consists of a background check and collection of documents, a home inspection, and an interview of everyone in the household.
It is recommended that you begin your home study as soon as possible. If you are ready to get started, you can contact one of the following Missouri-licensed professionals:
Near St. Louis:
- Sharon Mink
Along with her services as a home study provider, social worker Sharon Mink offers counseling and information for families as well as prospective birth parents.
- Love Basket Adoptions
Love Basket Adoptions provides information on their website about the home study process, the steps and requirements, and a breakdown of the fees they charge.
- Christian Family Services
In addition to pre- and post-placement services, Christian Family Services is licensed in Missouri to complete your home study.
- Missouri Adoption Services
With a branch in Ozark, Missouri, ABI can help St. Louis families interested in either domestic or international adoption.
- American Adoptions
This national adoption agency is licensed in six states to complete home studies and has social workers across the state of Missouri.
St. Louis Hospitals
A crucial part of an expecting mother’s adoption plan is preparing for her hospital stay. If you are pursuing adoption for your child, you will want to speak to your adoption specialist and healthcare provider as your due date approaches. Together, you will be able to plan what kind of delivery experience you want, who you want to be with you, and how much time you would like with your baby.
As you begin thinking about your hospital trip, you can contact one of the following nearby hospitals:
- Barnes Jewish Hospital South
1 Barnes-Jewish Hospital Plaza
St. Louis, MO 63110
- Missouri Baptist Medical Center
3015 North Ballas Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63131
- St. Anthony’s Medical Center
10010 Kennerly Road
St.Louis, MO 63128
- St. Luke’s Hospital
232 South Woods Mill Road
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Laws and Requirements to Adopt in Missouri
When pursuing an adoption, potential birth parents and adoptive families must all abide by the laws of their state to ensure that the adoption is legally recognized. If you are adopting or placing a child in St. Louis, visit our page on How to Adopt in Missouri for detailed information about the process.
Below, you can find a brief overview of consent laws for birth parents and adoption eligibility for adoptive parents.
After the birth of a child, the birth parents must both terminate their parental rights before the child can be adopted. Missouri’s consent laws state that a mother cannot legally consent to an adoption until at least 48 hours after giving birth. This protects her from making a decision under duress and gives her time to deliberate before signing the relinquishment papers.
There are no regulations regarding when the birth father can terminate his rights. In some instances, the explicit consent of the father is not needed to move forward in an adoption, but it should always be obtained if possible. If the father of the child cannot be contacted or his consent cannot be obtained for any reason, speak to your adoption attorney about your options.
Before pursuing adoption in St. Louis, Missouri families should review the state’s basic adoption requirements. In Missouri, any individual or couple can adopt a child, but if a married individual wants to adopt without his or her spouse, a court may dismiss their petition.
Additionally, your adoption professional may have extra requirements regarding your age, marital status, or other factors. Take into account the unique requirements of different professionals when you are choosing who to work with in your adoption.
County Court Information
Below, you can find information on the county courts in Greater St. Louis, which you may need to know when you appear in court to finalize an adoption:
- Franklin County
- Jefferson County
- Lincoln County
- St. Francois County
- St. Charles County
- sT. Louis County
- Warren County
- Washington County
Things to Do in St. Louis
Adoptive parents, if they are adopting from out of state, must remain in the birth mother’s state for 7-10 business days after placement. This allows time for the necessary legal clearances to go through so you can take your baby home. In the meantime, you can visit some of the following locations and attractions in St. Louis: