If you are facing an unplanned, unexpected, or unwanted pregnancy, you have choices! Adoption Choices of Missouri can offer financial support, access to medical care, safe housing, and professional counseling.
Putting a baby up for adoption
An unplanned pregnancy can be a terrifying thing for many women. A young woman, an older woman, no matter what stage of life you’re in, this is a huge physical and emotional situation. If you think that adoption may be the best choice for you and your child, you may be wondering what your options are regarding the adoption.
As the birth mother, you get to make most of the major decisions about how the adoption will go, and you can lay those decisions out on paper in an adoption plan that Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you create. Here are a few of the options you’ll be able to consider if you decide to place your child for adoption.
Choosing the Adoptive Family
What many people don’t realize is that adoption is never a double-blind process; in fact, in most cases the birth mother has all the control in choosing her child’s adoptive family. You will be able to tell your adoption specialist what is most important to you when it comes to who will raise your child. For example, if you desire someone with deep local roots, a similar ethnic background to yourself, or a family that shares your lifestyle or religious beliefs, these are all things you can look for in an adoptive family.
Once you have found a family you like based on their profile, you’ll have the chance to meet with them, often by speaking on the phone first and then meeting them in person. The choice of whether to move forward with them as your child’s adoptive family is all yours.
The Type of Adoption
There are three main types of adoption that you will have to choose from. While you can have the adoption type as a condition to going through with the adoption with a specific family, it is important that both you and the adoptive family agree to the terms on the type of adoption. You can choose an open adoption, semi-open, or closed adoption.
Additional Adoption Options
While those are some of the big decisions you’ll be facing, there are other options you’ll have to consider as well – such as how you’d like to communicate with the adoptive family during the pregnancy and how you’d like to handle your birth plan. Thankfully, Adoption Choices of Missouri can help explain your options to you without any pressure so that you can figure out what works best for you. Having your options lined out in an adoption plan can help you feel more confident and secure in the choices you’ve made.
An unplanned teenage pregnancy is an overwhelming amount of responsibility and a life-changing event. Even if you are thinking about placing your child for adoption, you face a lot of responsibilities.
Placing your baby for adoption can lead to a better life for both your baby and you, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an easy decision to make.
You need to be aware of things you can do to make both your pregnancy and the adoption process easier.
Increase the Chances for a Healthy Pregnancy
First and foremost, proper medical care is crucial for the healthy development of your baby and reduces your risk of pregnancy complications such as anemia, high blood pressure, and premature labor. Pregnant teens don’t always get the prenatal care they need, especially early on in the pregnancy. If you are smoking or drinking or using drugs, you must stop as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
If you have no other health insurance, you may qualify for medical coverage through your state’s medical assistance program. Government-issued health insurance, which pays for prenatal care and delivery of the baby, is available to pregnant women not covered by another health plan.
Consequently, you have no reason not to make an appointment with a doctor or other health care provider to get the medical care you need. Following a physical examination, he or she will offer advice on exercise and nutrition, as well as order screening tests for rubella, chickenpox, hepatitis B and sexually transmitted diseases – all conditions that can be harmful to your baby. Do not try to go at this alone, terminate your own pregnancy, or keep it a secret. Think about being SAFE and HEALTHY.
Surround Yourself With Caring People
Of the number of teen pregnancies in the U.S., 77% are unplanned. Whether or not you consider the possibility of adoption, it is important to surround yourself with people who are willing to give you the amount of support you need throughout your pregnancy and afterward.
Look to family members and friends who will listen and help you make choices that will benefit your baby and you. Choosing adoption will allow you to continue your education and pursue your life’s goals. It can also provide a more secure future for your baby. Even so, you may experience guilt, anger, depression and sorrow over losing your baby to adoption. Acceptance eventually occurs, but it takes time. That’s why you need caring people who will listen to you and provide you with support as you sort through your emotions.
Get Support From Outside Sources
Being able to openly share your feelings about your pregnancy and impending adoption can help so that you don’t feel alone. If you don’t have a strong social support network, seek professional counseling with a therapist who has experience helping birth parents with the emotional impact of adoption. Adoption Choices of Missouri offers counseling through your adoption journey and after the birth of your child.
You can also look for social and emotional support from a support group for birth parents, especially teenage birth parents. Whether from professionals or others in a similar situation, counseling and emotional support can help you deal with any confusion or regret you might feel so that you can move on with your life.
Recognize the Signs of Postpartum Depression
Teen pregnancy can also lead to depression. In fact, teen pregnancy is a risk factor for postpartum depression. The feelings that accompany an unplanned pregnancy or the lack of emotional support throughout your pregnancy can put you at even greater risk for suffering depression afterward.
Postpartum depression is often accompanied by anxiety, sleep problems, extreme irritability, severe mood swings, and the inability to concentrate. Whether or not you keep your baby, postpartum depression, which affects twice as many teens as adults, can have serious implications.
However, maintaining a more positive outlook on the situation contributes to a healthy pregnancy and healthier postnatal period. Even for women who plan their pregnancies, worry over health problems, finances, lifestyle changes, and their relationship with their partner puts emotional and physical stress on the body. Getting help addressing these concerns can decrease the stress and emotional strain you feel.
Consider Other Aspects of Your Situation
Aside from the emotional support you receive from those close to you, your moral values and spiritual beliefs may play a role in your decision to put your baby up for adoption. Your level of education and financial stability at the time of the pregnancy can play key roles as well. Your partner may also play a role.
Higher education usually is required to establish a career plan with a good outlook that will provide the income you need to raise a child. But if you drop out of school when you become pregnant or do not get adequate job training, you may find yourself unemployed or with limited job opportunities; both of which can have economic effects and may lead to living in poverty. This is the same for the father of the baby. Consider, are the 2 of you financially and emotionally ready to parent a child?
Add to the economic considerations the reactions of others when they find out that you are pregnant, and you may feel alone and incapable of raising a child at this point in your life. Yet the pain of giving up your child is something with which you must deal. Therefore, it comes down to deciding whether adoption is the right choice for you.
Adoption is a complicated process, but the experienced staff of Adoption Choices of Missouri can help you make an informed decision and, if you decide that it is the best option for you, can also aid you in navigating the adoption process. You can call us with no obligation, but to find out your options when facing an unplanned teenage pregnancy.
Serving Pregnant Teens Statewide – Call us at no obligation 1-877-903-4488
Social media is everywhere. It’s even a part of our political discourse. It’s so prevalent that sometimes it seems hard to avoid social media. It’s no wonder then that social media has affected the world of adoption. Social media has pervaded all aspects of adoptions, with good and bad results. Here’s a brief rundown on how social media has positively and negatively affected the adoption universe.
The Positive of Social Media on Adoption
There are a lot of positive ways that social media has impacted adoptions. For one, adoptions have become much more open. With social media, it is possible for adoptive parents and birth parents to easily maintain contact with each other, should they choose to do so. In fact, approximately 1 in 4 adoptive parents have used the internet to search for and make contact with birth family members. Social media has also made it easy for adoptees to reach out to birth parents with questions about their adoption. This is a far cry from the days of past, when closed adoptions were prevalent.
Social media also makes it easier for people to learn about adoptions and get support as they navigate their own adoption journeys. From forums to Facebook, members of the adoption triad are opening up about their adoption journeys, with benefits for all involved. For example, an adoptive parent with questions about sibling adoption can easily find the answers she needs with a quick google search. A birth parent can also find out all about adoption agencies available in her area with the click of a button. Extra support is crucial during the often stressful adoption process.
Support also includes financial support. Specifically, social media tools make it possible to solicit donations to fund an adoption from a wide audience. For example, adoptive parents funding their adoption through a GoFundMe page can share their page via Facebook and Twitter. They can even post pictures and communicate with donors in a personal manner without having to expend too many resources. Having an easy way to reach a wide audience to fund an adoption is important because adoptions can be very expensive.
The Negative of Social Media on Adoption
Social media has also had a negative impact on adoptions. This mainly stems from the ever-present nature of social media. Simply put, once it goes on social media, it stays on social media. As you probably already know, it is virtually impossible to delete something once it finds its way to the internet. This means that any communications or other material concerning an adoption, even sensitive or otherwise confidential material, can be easily available to members of the public.
This is why it is important to follow some safety tips when using social media in an adoption related context. First, adjust your privacy settings. This way only individuals you trust have access to the information you put online. Second, think before you post. Even with strict privacy settings, it is sometimes hard to control the spread of information on social media. Third, be respectful. Everything you post on social media relates not only to you, but to your child and the birth parents. So avoid posting sensitive or emotionally charged information on social media. Finally, consider alternatives. Sometimes social media simply isn’t the best way to communicate. For example, it might be better for a child to connect with his birth mother for the first time in person versus on twitter.
Social media is a huge part of our society. The adoption universe is no exception. This has resulted in more open and fruitful relationships for all members of the adoption triad. However, what happens on social media stays on social media. So its best to always be careful when posting adoption related material to social media. For more information, visit Adoption Choices of Missouri.
Adoption can be a complex process. The term “placing for adoption” connotes a lot more than the formal process of adoption. It contains all the mental, physical, and emotional experiences associated with pregnancy. Nonetheless, the physical birth of the child and formal placement of him or her for adoption, a process known as birth and relinquishment, is also important. Let’s talk about birth and relinquishment in more detail.
Birth sounds relatively straightforward. However, its much more complicated. Birth begins well before the physical process of labor with the creation of an adoption hospital plan. This plan outlines the birth mother’s preferences for the hospital stay, including, but not limited to, whether the adoptive parents will be present at the birth, who will hold the baby first, and how much time the birth mother will spend with the child. It also includes details like whether the birth mother will take pictures with the baby and whether she will keep hospital mementos like her ID bracelet.
Birth also involves the physical birth. This involves things like whether to have a natural birth, an epidural, or, depending on the birth mother’s health situation, a c-section. It also includes things like post-birth recovery time. Of course, these things are dictated by medical necessity, so they are subject to change at a moments notice.
Birth also includes the hospital stay following birth. And this doesn’t just mean the birth mother. It also includes the adoptive parents and the adoptee. The hospital stay includes the time that both the birth mother and adoptive parents will spend with the adoptee prior to formal relinquishment. This can be a stressful time because both parents may want access to the child at the same time. However, a good hospital plan will help mitigate these issues. The hospital stay also involves a lot of paperwork, both for the birth mother and the adoptive parents. This includes providing the adoptive parent’s with the child’s medical records.
Relinquishment is the formal placement of the child for adoption. Relinquishment is a legal term. It’s the process by which a birth mother formally consents for her child to legally become part of his or her adoptive family. A birth mother relinquishes her child by signing formal paperwork waiving her parental rights over the child. Most states don’t allow the birth mother to sign this paperwork until after the physical birth has occurred. The requirements vary, but signing typically takes place in the hospital or in the days surrounding birth.
Once the birth mother signs the paperwork, the next step is for a judge to formally sign off on it. The judge signs off on the paperwork by conducting a short hearing with the adoptive parents to make sure they understand the legal implications of accepting the child for adoption. The judge makes sure they understand the legal implications of adoption by asking them a series of questions and having them verify details like the date of the child’s birth and the date of his or her placement with them. Once the adoptive parents answer the questions to the judge’s satisfaction, the judge signs off on the relinquishment paperwork, which formalizes the adoption.
Adoption is more than it seems at first glance. This holds true for birth and relinquishment. Luckily, the specialists at Adoption Choices of Missouri are here to guide you through the process of birth and relinquishment, whether you are a birth mother or an adoptive parent. For more information, visit Adoption Choices of Missouri and we can discuss your unique circumstances!
Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families in different states. As a Missouri resident, you’ll want to work with an adoption agency or adoption attorney who is very familiar with Missouri adoption laws and policies. Below, learn all about the legal guidelines for families adopting in Missouri.
Missouri Adoption Laws & Statutes
Who Can Adopt in Missouri? Any single adult or married couple jointly may adopt, regardless of state residency.
Can LGBT families adopt? Yes!
Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.
Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes.
Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, adopting parents may use an adoption facilitator, as long as the facilitator complies with Dept. of Social Services’ regulations.
What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal (plus court costs, administration expenses), counseling, living (food, shelter, utilities, transportation, and clothing within community norms; adoption-related travel).
Is there a putative father registry? Yes.
When can consent to adoption be granted? Birth mother: 48 hours after birth; birth father: any time.
When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? After court approves consent. Court must approve the consent within 3 days or set a hearing on the consent. Return assumed to be automatic; this aspect of law untested.
Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes
DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but Adoption Choices cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state.
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