Adoption is the legal process of permanently adding a child or adult to a family so that the person will be known as the child of the adoptive parents as if he or she was naturally born to the adoptive parents. 

Adoption is done in a number of ways, including private adoption through adoption placement agencies, state adoption, and step-parent adoption. Here is a better look at how long it takes to finalize an adoption in Missouri.

Adoption in Missouri

While adoption happens differently for everyone, there are some laws followed in the state of Missouri. If you are a birth mother who chooses to terminate your parental rights for your child to be adopted, Missouri law requires a waiting period of at least 48 hours after the child’s birth.

Before a child is placed, the adoptive parents must meet specific requirements. Missouri law requires a licensed social worker to conduct an initial home study and later in the process an updated home study.

Next, the likely prospective adoptive parents will need to file a petition to adopt, submit a background check called a Family Care Safety Registry check (FCSR),s and show proof of their financial ability to care for the child.

How Long Does it Take to Finalize?

Receiving your final decree of adoption in Missouri is called adoption finalization. This process normally happens takes at least six months or so post-placement. 

In some cases, adoptive parents may face some bumps on this joyous road. For adoption to be finalized the natural parents’ rights will need to be terminated which can delay the time it takes to finalize an adoption.

If the natural parents have yet to consent to the adoption, refuse to terminate the parental rights, or are difficult to locate then adoption may require additional steps such as gaining the natural parents’ consent, terminating the natural parents’ rights, or publication if the natural parents’ locations are unknown. 

Just like the rest of the adoption process, you don’t have to go through an adoption finalization struggle to finalize your Missouri adoption Missouri on your own. Your adoption specialist or adoption attorney can help you navigate some of the most difficult steps.

Our Adoption Lawyers Can Help

No matter what your reasons are for considering adoption, our experienced adoption attorneys at Brydon, Swearengen & England P.C. in Jefferson City frequently represent families in adoptions throughout Mid-Missouri. We take the time to fully explain the adoption process to you and answer your questions. 

Our experienced family lawyers regularly practice before the Judges and Courts that handle adoptions which ensures a smooth process. 

Choosing adoption takes courage and patience. It’s important to look at your life circumstances to determine what’s best for you and your potential child. Contact us to get the support you need today.