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Adoption Requirements in Missouri: What You Need to Know

Most hopeful parents have a lot of questions at the beginning of their adoption journey.
  • Which type of adoption is right for me?
  • How does the process work?
  • Which agency will be best?
  • How will I manage the cost?
These are all important questions, and our guides to Missouri adoption provide answers. But, before getting into any of those details, there’s another important subject to consider: adoption requirements in Missouri. Any individual or couple hoping to adopt must meet a set of Missouri adoption requirements before continuing on in the process. There may be additional requirements, as well, from the agency you choose to work with. We’ve created this guide to adoption requirements in Missouri so that you know where you stand heading into this process.

Adoption Requirements in Missouri

There are two primary factors in determining which requirements to adopt a child in Missouri apply to you: Your agency and your type of adoption. First, your agency. When you pursue adoption — any type of adoption — you will most likely work with an adoption agency. Agencies provide important services to ensure that adoptions are completely safely, legally and successfully. Most agencies have their own internal requirements for adoptive parents. Since these are different for each agency, we can’t tell you exactly what they will be. Just be aware that they do exist. This is a good question to ask any Missouri adoption agency you consider working with. Second, your type of adoption. There are three primary types of adoption for hopeful parents to pursue, and there are different qualifications for adopting in Missouri for each. You can read our in-depth guides to domestic infant adoption, foster care adoption and international adoption to learn more, as well as speak with your adoption agency about whether or not you meet the qualifications for the type of adoption you’d like to pursue.

Common Questions about the Requirements for Adopting a Child in Missouri

Everyone is in a unique situation when they begin the adoption process. You may have a specific question about your life or history, and whether or not you could be excluded based on the requirements to adopt a child in Missouri. We get a lot of questions about this topic, and, in an attempt to answer yours, here are some of the most common questions from people wondering, “What are the requirements to adopt a child in Missouri?”

Can a felon adopt a child in Missouri?

We all make mistakes. If you have a felony on your criminal record, you may be wondering if your mistake disqualifies you from adoption. A felony does not automatically disqualify you. Instead, Missouri adoption requirements will look at the nature of the crime. If it involves any sort of child abuse or neglect, domestic violence or sexual assault, then a felon will not meet the qualifications to adopt a child in Missouri.

Can LGBTQ partners adopt in Missouri?

U.S. law protects LGBTQ partners seeking adoption. You can adopt in all 50 states. However, this does not mean that prejudices have disappeared. Some state legislatures have tried to create loopholes for private organizations to discriminate on the basis of religious belief. Make sure any agency you consider working with is a true ally and advocate for LGBTQ adoption.

Can a married but separated person adopt in Missouri?

Marriage is not a legal requirement for adoption in Missouri. However, this is one area where agencies may have requirements that the state law does not. Make sure to ask your agency about your specific situation.

Can a single parent adopt a child in Missouri?

Similarly, there are no requirements to adopt a child in Missouri that exclude single parents. Make sure to ask any agency you are considering whether or not they will work with single parents.

Are there income requirements to adopt a child in Missouri?

Missouri law does not stipulate a specific level of income required to adopt a child. Any hopeful parent will need to show proof of income during the home study. Generally speaking, any level of income that is deemed sufficient to provide a safe and stable home is acceptable. Additionally, you should be prepared for the costs associated with the adoption process, depending on the type of adoption you hope to pursue.

How old must you be to adopt in Missouri?

There is not a legal adoption age limit in Missouri. As you’ll see below, this is not the case for those hoping to become foster parents or pursue foster care adoption. Additionally, most agencies will have a minimum age to adopt a child in Missouri.

Is there a minimum age to adopt from foster care in Missouri?

According to Missouri foster care guidelines, anyone hoping to become a foster parent must be at least 21 years old.

What Does it Take to Adopt a Child in Missouri?

The Missouri adoption requirements we’ve discussed so far are legal matters — what’s required by the law to adopt a child in Missouri. But, adoption goes far above and beyond what the law has to say. There are other requirements — think of them as “practical adoption requirements” — that are just as essential as those mandated by the state. These are the practical Missouri adoption requirements for any hopeful parent:
  • A clear understanding of the responsibilities of parenthood. Starting your family through adoption is amazing. It’s a truly beautiful picture of love. But, it’s also a serious responsibility and sometimes a major challenge. Have you spoken with other parents, read educational materials, and taken the time to consider how you will do what’s necessary to help your child thrive?
  • Preparation for the financial costs associated with adoption. Have you read about the average cost of adoption? You don’t have to be rich to adopt, but you do need to be prepared. One practical requirement to adopt a child in Missouri is a plan for how you’ll handle the cost of adoption.
  • A plan for support along the adoption journey. Have you identified the personal and professional support you’ll need to complete your adoption? This means finding a good agency to fulfill all the Missouri adoption requirements throughout the process, as well as developing a personal support network to help you get through the process and begin your new life as a family.
  • A commitment to continued education. Parenting is a never-ending journey, as is adoption. There’s always more to learn and new ways to grow. Are you ready for a lifetime of learning as you help your child become the person they are meant to be?

Connect with Missouri Adoption Professionals Today

Do you still have questions about adoption requirements in Missouri? Contact us today to be connected with a local professional who can discuss the private infant adoption process. Additionally, read through the rest of our in-depth guides to Missouri adoption as you continue to learn about this life-changing process.