6 Questions You Have About Missouri Adoption Laws
The emotional journey of adoption as a hopeful parent is truly incredible. There’s nothing quite like it. The joys and challenges are often new and unexpected. It’s easy to get swept up in all of this, but it’s important to remember that adoption is also a legal process.
Are you considering adoption in Missouri? If so, there are several important Missouri adoption laws that you should know.
You’ve likely spent most of your time thinking about the more personal matters of adoption, like what it will be like to be placed with your child for the first time, and to grow your family as a new parent. These are worthy of your time and consideration, to be sure.
But, to put yourself in the best position to succeed with your process, you’ll also benefit from a basic understanding of the most important Missouri state adoption laws. That’s exactly what this guide will give you.
While this article should not be taken as legal advice (that’s what your adoption attorney is for, after all), it will hopefully give you a foundational understanding of Missouri adoption statutes and laws that will impact your process.
Missouri Adoption Laws and Your Adoption Attorney
Any hopeful parent will work with several different professionals throughout their adoption process. When it comes to adoption laws in Missouri, your attorney is your most valued and trusted resource.
Attorneys protect your rights and advocate on your behalf during the adoption process. They also ensure that all filing deadlines are met and prepare you for a successful adoption finalization hearing. Without an attorney, there’s a much higher chance you’ll run afoul of one or more Missouri child adoption laws, which can put your entire process in jeopardy.
If you are still searching for an adoption attorney, here are several Missouri law practices to consider:
- Michael J. Belfonte, P.C.
- Kevin W. Kenney, Attorney at Law
- Davis | Pingel
- Columbia Family Law Group
- Bardol Law Firm, LLC
Understanding Missouri Adoption Laws
Although you will have your attorney to rely on, it can be helpful to understand some of the adoption laws in Missouri that will affect your process. Why? It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the process, and confusion begets frustration. By learning about these important adoption statutes in Missouri, you’ll put yourself in a better position when things get challenging.
Here, we’ll answer the most common questions we hear about Missouri adoption laws.
Is there a different between Missouri private adoptions laws and public adoption?
All adoptions in Missouri — including private adoptions through an agency and public adoptions through foster care — adhere to the same Missouri adoption statutes and laws. However, there may be a difference in eligibility requirements. Read this helpful guide on Missouri adoption requirements from a national adoption agency to learn more.
What are the laws about termination of parental rights in Missouri adoption?
Are you considering foster care adoption in Missouri? You may wonder what the law has to say about termination of parental rights in Missouri adoption. Essentially, it is up to the discretion of a judge, who considers a legal standard known as “best interests of the child.” If the judge deems it harmful for the child to return to the care of his or her biological family, the judge can decide to terminate parental rights against their wishes.
The termination of parental rights in Missouri adoption is not the same across all types of adoption. In domestic infant adoptions, the birth mother voluntarily relinquishes her rights. The father may also voluntarily relinquish his rights, or a court could terminate them.
Are there Missouri open adoption laws?
Most private adoptions today are at least semi-open. This is often an important and beautiful relationship. However, Missouri adoption laws don’t have anything to say about open adoption, and any sort of open adoption contract is typically unenforceable in the eyes of the law.
Is there a Missouri adoption revocation period?
According to Missouri law, a birth parent can revoke consent to adoption (more on this below) anytime before a judge declares the adoption final. However, a revocation of consent often results in a contested adoption. If this is a situation you are facing, speak with your adoption attorney.
What are the laws about consent to adoption in Missouri?
A prospective birth parent must wait at least 48 hours after the child has been born to give their official consent to adoption in Missouri.
What if we are facing a contested adoption in Missouri?
A contested adoption is one of the most challenging and complex legal matters that could occur in an adoption process. Every situation is different. If you are facing a contested adoption in Missouri, you should speak with your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, call one as soon as possible.
Connect with an Adoption Professional
You should speak with a professional if you have more questions about Missouri adoption laws. Any of the law offices listed in this article would be a good place to start. Or, you can contact us today to be connected with a helpful adoption specialist.