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For Birth Mothers

As an adoptive father, and adoption attorney, I have experienced the gift that only you can give, and I am dedicated to doing everything possible to make sense of the often confusing maze of adoption for you and your child.  I simply want to make sure that I am available to allow birth mothers and birth fathers to make informed decisions regarding the realities of adoption.

mother-baby-300x250Adoption is described as the greatest gift one could give and I assure you that there could not be a better description.  If you are pregnant and considering giving the gift of adoption, I am committed to helping in the following ways:

  1. I am willing to travel to meet you if that would be easier for you.
  2. You will work with me personally.
  3. I will make sure that we work together to find the right family for your precious baby.
  4. I will help you tailor an adoption that satisfies your desire in terms of openness or confidentiality.
  5. Once an adoptive family is chosen I will arrange a meeting with you and the family so that both you and the adoptive family will understand everyone’s mutual love for your baby.
  6. You will understand your legal rights.
  7. I will assure you that the choice is yours and I will not pressure you into an adoption.
  8. Our relationship will not end when the adoption is finalized – I will be your advocate and there to listen when you need to talk.

Understand that in the State of the Missouri, adoptive families can and are willing to pay for your attorney’s fees.  Please feel free to contact me to discuss your rights and the possibilities of adoption.

happy-fam-portrait-300x250Do I have a say in who adopts my child?

I am always amazed when people are surprised to find out that my child’s birth mother chose us and that we did not get to pick ourselves.  I do not see how adoption can work without the birth mother having the primary choice in who adopts this special child.  The reason many expectant mothers choose adoption is because they have a picture of what they want their child’s life to be.  They may be in a difficult situation or feel they are not capable of raising a child, so their selection is vital to the process, it can allow them to have peace of mind that their child will have the life they envision.

There will always be an extraordinary amount of people hoping to adopt.  Every time I visited an adoption seminar I was always amazed that the seminar was packed with people hoping to experience the gift of adoption.

The fact of the matter is that there is a family out there who deeply hopes to become a parent someday and who can fulfill your hopes for your child.  As a birth mother you will be fully involved in selecting the adoptive parents, so that you can be assured that your picture of your child’s future can be met.

Please understand that adoptive parents go through a time consuming pre-screening process which will include:

  1. Criminal records and child abuse checks
  2. Extensive background checks
  3. Financial assessments
  4. Medical examinations
  5. Home study
  6. Post-placement supervisory visits

pacifier-300x250What will my child think of me?

Giving the gift of adoption is a brave and selfless act.  Anyone willing to consider giving such a gift can only be held in the highest of regard.  Any adoptive parent realizes what an amazing gift the birth mother has bestowed upon them as without you they would never be able to realize what having, raising and loving a child is like.

By having birth mothers involved in the selection of the adoptive family and by highlighting the fact that two sets of families will have a strong mutual love for this special child, I hope to create an environment whereby the child grows up with a strong affection for and an understanding of their birth mother’s hope for a better future.

In adoption, we often talk about the adoptive child’s “story”.  It is personal to them as each situation is different – you can share as much or as little as you like with the adoptive parents so that they may share details about you in the future.  In some cases, if you choose, you can still be a part of your child’s life.  Our team will work with you and the adoptive couple to create the environment and relationship that you want, and deserve.

adoption-request-300x250What contact will I have with the adoptive family?

This is something that can be and should be agreed upon by the birth parents and by the adoptive family.  In the past, most adoptions were done with the idea that there would be no contact.  Time has shown that this is generally not the best approach for either the child, the adoptive parents and birth parents.

Some birth parents will ask for no contact.  Some will want to have the opportunity to visit with the family as the child grows.  Often the contact will take the form of the adoptive family providing pictures and letters which illustrate the child’s life.  There is certainly no right or wrong answer.

The reality is that the child will have questions about his or her birth parents and furthermore, adoptive parents hope to be able to answer those questions.

Personally I believe a critical component of the adoption process is the opportunity meet with the adoptive family prior to the adoption.  Just as much as you want to assure the well-being of your child, adoptive parents want the opportunity to meet with you.  Through personal experience, I know that this special little child will grow up with a lot of people who love them.  As the child grows, this face-to-face meeting will give adoptive families the ability to explain this love to the child and answer critical questions about who their birth family is.  By meeting you, adoptive parents can inform the child of your love, sacrifice and what a special person you are.

Furthermore, this meeting will help paint the picture of what your child’s life will be like with the adoptive parents.  Having that connection between birth parents and adoptive parents plays a key role in the adoption story.

What can the adoptive family be expected to pay for?

In an adoption proceeding the court requires that the adoptive family must file a signed accounting of anything of value that the adoptive family pays in connection with the adoption placement.

By law, the Court may approve the following expenses:

  1. hospital, medical, and physician expenses incurred by the mother or a child in connection with the birth and any illness of the newborn child;
  2. counseling services for a parent or child for a reasonable time before and after the child’s placement for adoption;
  3. expenses incurred in obtaining a pre-placement assessment and an assessment during the proceeding for adoption;
  4. reasonable legal expenses of the birth parents – court costs, and travel or other administrative expenses connected with an adoption;
  5. reasonable living expenses, including, but not limited to, food, shelter, utilities, transportation, or clothing expenses of the birth parents and child that are within the norms of the community in which the birth mother resides; and
  6. any other services or items the court finds are reasonably necessary.

Please be aware that anyone offering to make a payment simply in consideration for an adoption or for your consent to an adoption is committing a Class C Felony in the State of Missouri.  The purpose of an adoption is to create a loving, trusting environment for you, your child and the adoptive family.  Such offers completely defeat the goal of stability and trust.