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Aurora Adoption Attorneys
Helping Missouri Families Grow
Adoption in Missouri is a legal means by which a child moves permanently from one family to another. According to Missouri adoption law, once a decree of adoption has been entered, the adoptive parents gain the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born to them. Adoptive parents must provide nurture, care, and support to the child.
An adopted child has the same inheritance rights as a child born to birth parents. Adoptive parents are real parents in every sense.
When Pettit Law Office takes on your case, you will be matched with an experienced Aurora adoption lawyer who can help you through this process.
Our lawyers are equipped to handle adoptions cases including:
- Adult adoption
- Foster parent adoptions
- Agency adoptions
- Independent adoptions and private placements
- Relative adoptions
- Stepparent adoptions
Adult Adoption in Missouri
Missouri adult adoption is the process whereby a person 18 years or older is adopted by one or more person also 18 years or older. Written consent is required by the proposed adoptee (person being adopted).
Foster Parents in Missouri
To be eligible for foster parent adoption, the adoptive parents must qualify and be certified as a foster and adoptive placement for children by the state where the parents live. In the state of Missouri, foster parents must complete training and home certification courses. After qualification, foster parents are contacted by Children’s Division with placement options.
When fostering to adopt, the parents will get custody of a child subject to the jurisdiction of the juvenile court. The foster/adoptive parents participate in the juvenile court case. When the court determines the adoption is allowed, the adoption process is set into motion. This is the least expensive option for adoptive families, as state and federal subsidies cover placement, support, medical, child care and legal expenses. In the vast majority of foster adoption cases, the adoptive parents pay no money in order to finalize the adoption.
Agency adoptions are handled through a licensed child placement agency. According to Missouri adoption law, agencies are licensed by the Department of Social Services. When a prospective adoptive family contacts an agency, the social workers counsel the family while it’s on the agency’s waiting list. Birth mothers contact the agency to make their adoption plan and usually select an adoptive family from the agency’s list of interested families.
Independent Adoption & Private Placement Adoption
Independent adoption in Missouri occurs when birth parents and adoptive families find each other on their own or with the help of an adoption intermediary, e.g. a pastor, lawyer, or doctor. The adoption intermediary or the adoptive family’s attorney facilitates the placement. Thereafter, an agency or social worker conducts interviews and visits for a six-month custody period and files its assessment with the court at the time of the adoption finalization.
Relative adoption occurs when a child has been living with a family member (aunt/uncle, grandparents, or other close friends or family) and the child’s biological parents have consented to the adoption or have abandoned the child. Relatives also can adopt through the foster care system and have “preferred” status for placement of relative foster children.
Stepparent adoption in Missouri is common in blended families with full, half, and step siblings. Sometimes, an individual will already have a child before meeting their spouse and starting a family. Many times, the parent’s spouse is the acting mother or father of the child, and stepparent adoption formalizes this relationship.
This type of adoption can be done with or without the consent of the other parent who would be removed from the child’s birth certificate. Many children love stepparent adoption because it is a way to change their name to the “family name” and to make the person who has been acting as their mother or father their legal parent.
What Are the Costs of Adoption in Missouri?
The cost of adoption in Missouri can vary depending on the type of adoption and the specific situation. Generally, there are several associated costs that adoptive parents must take into account, such as legal fees, court filing fees, home study fees and travel expenses for birth parents.
In addition to these costs, adoptive families may also have to pay for any medical bills or living expenses incurred by the birth mother during her pregnancy. Agency fees can also be a factor when it comes to adoption in Missouri; agencies typically charge an application fee, pre-placement services fee, and post-placement services fee. Additionally, some agencies may require the adoptive family to cover other related costs such as background checks and criminal records searches.
Finally, any additional counseling that is required by the court may incur additional costs as well. It is important for hopeful parents to consider these associated costs in order to best prepare financially for their adoption journey. However, do not let these potential cost daunt your efforts to grow your family. Consulting with experienced legal counsel can help you figure out a financial plan that help your dreams come true.
Call Pettit Law Office
Regardless of the type of adoption you need assistance with, our Aurora adoption attorneys are ready to help. We offer personalized representation and the tools you need to successfully navigate the process.
Call us at (417) 222-6640 today to get started on your case.
Committed to serving the local community in & out of court.
Spanish language option available for clients who need it.
Long track record of successful verdicts & settlements.
Lawyers & paralegals approach each case with compassion.
Direct access to the same attorney from start to finish.
Lawyers work closely with each client on a case-by-case basis.
Decades of injury law experience.
Southwestern Missouri Location in Aurora
All attorneys have trial experience & are prepared to go to trial.