Adoption in Missouri
What is an Open Adoption in Missouri? [Pros and Cons of Open Adoption]
The relationship between prospective birth mothers and adoptive families can look a lot of different ways in Missouri. You can pursue an open adoption, where you will still have some contact with your child, or you can decide on a closed adoption, where contact will be minimal. This decision will depend on your needs and preferences.
As a birth mother, you will design an adoption plan with your adoption specialist that outlines each part of your journey and the way that you want things handled. When it comes to an adoption agreement with an adoptive family, you will decide the frequency and means of contact – or you will decide against continued contact.
If you are ready to get this process started, contact a professional today.
What is Open adoption in Missouri?
Open adoption in Missouri is an adoption agreement that maintains contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents after placement. Among adoptions considered open are various levels of continued relationship between the two parties. Whatever the details are, the agreement will often be written, but cannot be legally enforced in the state of Missouri.
When many people think of adoption, their concept of it is outdated. They imagine a situation where a birth mother and child have no way of keeping a connection. In truth, most modern adoptions have a level of openness. Not only do many birth mothers want an open adoption agreement, but adoption professionals encourage it too. This is because continued contact can help answer questions they have as they mature and help them to develop a positive identity as an adoptee.
One of the first things you will do with an adoption specialist is create an adoption plan. During this process, you will get to define and detail the kind of contact you want with your child and their adoptive parents. Since open adoption is so common, you will find that most agencies in Missouri are “open adoption agencies.”
Open adoption in Missouri contact can include:
- Pictures and letters
- Emails and text messages
- Phone calls and video calls
- In-person visits
If you are unsure at first what you want this relationship to look like, you can always revisit these decisions later. Many birth mothers change their mind about the potential of an open adoption after choosing a family for their baby and having some interaction with them. It may come as a surprise to find out that many birth parents and adoptive parents consider each other friends or even family.
Rebecca, a birth mother, said of her open adoption:
“Adoption has changed my life for the better. I’m able to be a part of my son’s life, while also gaining new family in Katie and Andy. We hit it off instantly and they became a huge support in any choice I made.”
How Will I Find an Adoptive Family Who Wants an Open Adoption in Missouri?
Ninety percent of prospective birth mothers want to pursue open adoption. Some adoptive families will feel some hesitancy about open adoption, but they are often reassured by adoption professionals who support this choice and help them understand the benefits of an open adoption relationship. More and more, families understand the advantages of open adoption for adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents.
After you consult your adoption specialist about the type of adoption that you want, they will find adoptive families who are open to your preferences. From there, you will be given access to family profiles of these couples. Finally, you will choose the perfect family for your child.
Your adoption specialist will then collaborate with you to develop a postadoption contact agreement (PACA), which are often referred to as open adoption agreements. A PACA details your post-adoption relationship, and can range from an informal understanding to a formal contract in writing.
In Missouri, PACAs are not legally enforceable, but the right agency will counsel both birth mothers and adoptive families to stay true to one’s word when agreeing on Missouri open adoption details. Adoption professionals will reiterate to both parties that honoring the plan is the right thing to do for the child.
Open Adoption vs. Closed Adoption in Missouri
Maybe you are unsure what you would like your post-adoption relationship to be like, and you are curious about the pros and cons of open adoption in Missouri.
You are not alone. Many prospective birth mothers want clarity around what to expect from their adoption agreement. While a closed adoption is the best choice for some women who want privacy and anonymity, there are many benefits to open adoption:
- You get the chance to watch your child grow. The assurance that a birth mother will get updates and pictures or even scheduled in-person visits can help a woman heal.
- You will gain lifelong connections. The bond that can develop between birth mother, adoptive parents, and child is a unique gift for each of them.
- You will be able to answer any questions your child has. For some mothers, it is difficult to know that their child might struggle with the fact that they were adopted. Open adoption allows you to answer some of these questions for them and assure them that your decision was made from a place of love.
- You can keep the adoptive parents informed about your health history. Oftentimes birth mothers do not know everything about their family history when they have their babies; health issues sometimes present themselves later in life. Keeping contact with your child allows you to communicate any relevant concerns for them.
While open adoption undoubtedly benefits the birth parents, adoptee and adoptive parents, closed adoptions in Missouri are sometimes still necessary. In the case of a closed adoption, the adoptive family and the birth parents have little to no contact with one another. Some information might be shared, but this will depend upon the birth mother’s preferences.
Reasons you may consider a closed adoption include:
- You have a need for emotional closure after placement.
- You have safety concerns connected to an open adoption.
- You require privacy.
This is your decision to make, and no one can tell you what is best for you in this situation. You will, however, have support along the way. Adoption professionals will guide you and mediate communication as needed.
If you are ready to speak with a Missouri adoption specialist about the type of adoption you want, contact an agency today.
Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.