Adoption in Missouri
3 Unplanned Pregnancy Options in Missouri [A Complete Guide]
Sara, who faced an unplanned pregnancy after having raised two boys, describes her experience this way:
“I was scared I wouldn’t be able to care for the baby properly, financially support the baby, and keep up with the baby as he grew older.”
Sara’s situation is not uncommon. In fact, in 2010, 51% of Missouri pregnancies were unplanned.
If you are facing an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, no matter your age or situation, you are likely feeling a bit of this same fear that Sara was, and you might be looking for support. An unwanted pregnancy in Missouri can be experienced many ways. You might feel like it is an invasion, a burden, or maybe even a traumatic experience. Your feelings are valid, and we are here to help. This guide was created for you.
You are not alone, and there are professionals who are trained to guide women like you during this uncertain time. You have options.
What to do When You Have an Unplanned Pregnancy in Missouri
You have three options as a woman who is experiencing an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy. None of them are easy, but there are professionals available to help you navigate whichever choice you make. Only you can decide how to move forward, and so this guide will cover your options in detail for you.
What is Adoption?
When a woman chooses adoption, she carries her unplanned pregnancy to term and selects an adoptive family to adopt her child. This process is legally binding and involves the transfer of parental rights from birth mother to adoptive parents. There are many families who are hoping for an adoption opportunity, and your choice to pursue adoption could fulfill a dream for a couple who want to be parents.
Can I Meet My Baby’s Adoptive Parents?
Absolutely. In fact, you will be able to choose them and determine the type of relationship you want to establish with them. If you don’t already have someone in mind to adopt your baby, you will partner with an adoption agency that will help you find an adoptive couple who matches the needs you outline in your adoption plan.
From here, you will be given family profiles to review. Some families will be from Missouri, but if you work with a national agency, you will likely have out-of-state options too. When a family stands out, you will tell your adoption specialist and they will set up a meeting for you. You can continue contact throughout your pregnancy and can even maintain a relationship afterward. These decisions are for you to decide
The following Missouri adoption agencies are ready to guide you:
National adoption agencies often have dozens or even hundreds of couples for you to choose from. Local agencies will present you with a handful of profiles of couples in your region.
How Do You “Give Up” a Baby for Adoption in Missouri?
First of all, though it is common terminology, “giving up a baby for adoption” does not do justice to the bravery and generosity involved in the decision. “Giving up your baby” is not giving up, and a birth mother’s choice to pursue adoption is heroic.
There are six steps to putting a child up for adoption:
- Decide on adoption. There are various valid reasons why women choose adoption after an unplanned pregnancy in Missouri, and there are several benefits that come with this choice. Before going any further, you will want to make sure that adoption is the early pregnancy option you prefer.
- Create an adoption plan. Contacting an adoption agency to receive unplanned pregnancy help is your next step in the adoption process. An adoption specialist will help you to create a plan based on your needs and desires for your adoption journey.
- Choose the perfect family for your child. You will now get the chance to view family profiles. As you familiarize with the couples wanting to adopt, you will get the chance to select the adoptive family for your baby.
- Begin a relationship with the adoptive family. You will probably first talk to your chosen adoptive through a phone conversation mediated by an adoption professional. After you have your initial meeting, you get to choose the method and frequency of your contact.
- Deliver your baby and sign adoption paperwork. A hospital plan will be developed prior to delivery, which will outline your preferences during your hospital stay. This will become the blueprint for adoption specialists, health care workers, and the adoptive family during this time. In Missouri, adoption paperwork cannot be signed until 48 hours after birth.
- Continue the relationship with your child and their adoptive family. The type of relationship you foster with your baby’s adoptive parents is completely up to you and will be detailed in your adoption agreement.
Does Adoption Cost Money in Missouri?
No. In fact, adoption is the only option for unplanned pregnancy that will not cost the prospective mother anything.
Additionally, you may even be able to receive adoption financial support. Licensed adoption professionals will ensure that you receive the support you need, including making available an unplanned pregnancy hotline and paying for costs accrued because of your unwanted pregnancy.
Is Adoption Right for Me?
Only you can make this determination, but it might be helpful to hear the reasons women choose this unplanned pregnancy option:
- They are not able to offer the life they want to their child. Birth mothers choose adoption because they love their child and want them to have opportunities that they can’t necessarily guarantee.
- They want to gift an adoptive family with a child. There are thousands of couples dealing with infertility, and many same-sex couples who are looking for ways to grow their families. Birth mothers offer them a priceless gift.
- They want to maintain a relationship with their child. Most modern adoptions have a degree of openness to them. Today, birth mothers can have ongoing communication with the adoptive family, and even some contact with her child.
What is Abortion?
Abortion involves the termination of an unwanted pregnancy via medical or surgical intervention. Abortion is the most controversial of unplanned pregnancy options in Missouri, and there are laws in many states that restrict a woman’s access to the procedure. In Missouri, abortion is not performed after 24 weeks of pregnancy, except in the case of life endangerment or severe health complications. This makes abortion the most time-sensitive unplanned pregnancy option.
What Restrictions are on Abortion in Missouri?
If you decide that abortion is the best unplanned pregnancy option for you, you will want to educate yourself on the restrictions on Missouri abortion, which include:
- An abortion can only be performed up to the 24th week of a pregnancy, except when the woman’s health is severely compromised.
- A patient must receive state-approved counseling a full 72 hours before the procedure. This counseling is designed to discourage a woman from having an abortion.
- Unless a patient needs an abortion because her life is in danger or she has purchased an optional rider that includes abortion, the procedure will not be covered by private insurance policies. An abortion will cost you between $300 and $900.
- If the woman is a minor, she must have the consent of her parents to complete an abortion.
Who Provides Abortions in Missouri?
If you are considering this early pregnancy option, you may also want to consider the accessibility of medical centers. There is only 1 facility in Missouri that provides abortions.
What Risks are Involved in Abortion?
Abortion is considered a safe procedure and, contrary to popular belief, it is very rare for the procedure to affect your chance of becoming pregnant in the future. However, there are some adverse side effects that you should know about:
- Spotting or bleeding
- Nausea or vomiting
Abortion can also affect women emotionally. It is a difficult decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy and a woman can experience any number of the following emotions afterward: relief, sadness, elation, or depression. If you find that unpleasant emotions are interrupting your life, there post-abortion counseling resources that you are available for you.
Is Abortion Right for Me?
Again, hearing the reasons that other women chose abortion is a good place to start when trying to determine if it is right for you. Some of the reasons Missouri women choose this unplanned pregnancy option are:
- They do not want to experience pregnancy. Pregnancy can take a toll on a woman’s body, and so can delivery. It can also be an emotional experience. All of this has the potential to exacerbate certain pre-existing conditions that women have. A woman has the right to decide if they want to put themselves at risk in this way.
- They need their privacy. Unfortunately, revealing an unplanned pregnancy can place some women in dangerous or extremely stressful situations. Abortion offers a woman the option to avoid explaining or announcing their pregnancy.
- They do not want to put their education or career on hold. A pregnancy can disrupt life in significant ways, and for some women, educational or career goals are of utmost importance or even necessity. A woman has the right to choose if she wants this disruption in her life.
It is also true that abortion may not be the best choice for you. If it conflicts with your values or religious beliefs, choosing abortion may not be an option for you. In this case, you will want to consider alternative pregnancy options in Missouri.
What is Parenting?
For many women – in fact, for most women facing an unplanned pregnancy in Missouri – the desire to parent overrides any initial shock or fear they may have at the beginning of the pregnancy. In many of these cases, the pregnancy may have just come at an inopportune time. For women who want to raise a child and feel they have the support and stability necessary, this is a desirable unplanned pregnancy option.
What are the Challenges of Being a Single Parent in Missouri?
Not all women who choose parenting after an unplanned pregnancy are facing the reality of being a single parent in Missouri, but a significant number of them are. If you are in this position, you may want to consider the particular obstacle of raising a child as a single parent. Some of these obstacles include:
- One Income
- Finding Support
- Carving out time for yourself
What Resources are Available to Single Parents in Missouri?
Whether you are parenting as a single parent or in a partnership, it is a challenge emotionally, financially, and practically. Fortunately, there are support services available to you if you decide that this is the unplanned pregnancy option for you, contact the following organizations for assistance:
Is Parenting Right for Me?
Of course, parenting is rewarding as well as challenging, and there are many reasons that women choose it over the other two unplanned pregnancy options in Missouri. Some of these reasons include:
- They are able to support a family. Raising kids presents financial obstacles for anyone who chooses to parent, but those who choose this option for their unplanned pregnancy are reasonably confident they can support a child with some adjustments or support.
- They can offer a child their desired home life. Certain situations are not appropriate to bring children into, and for some women, it is just not possible to provide the sort of stability and safety they desire for their child. But others are already able to offer the sort of nurturing environment that a baby requires.
- They wanted kids at some point in their life. Some women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy do not foresee a future where they choose to parent, and others have always wanted to parent a child.
Only you can decide which of these unplanned pregnancy options is the right choice for you, but you are not alone. There are professionals who can offer you the empathy and support you need right now. If you’d like to be connected with one of these helpful professionals, you can contact us today.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.