If you are thinking about adopting a baby in Missouri, you have a number of options. You can go through an adoption agency, but there is often a long waiting list for infants. Another option is independent adoption, in which you work directly with the birth mom. While this can be a good way to go, it is important to know the benefits and risks before deciding to go that route.
BabyCenter reports that while an independent adoption can go faster than going through an agency, an average one still takes up to 18 months, and some can take years. One of the big benefits of this type of adoption is that the adoptive parents get to know the birth mother and can develop a close relationship. However, independent adoption does come with risks. One of the major ones is there is always the chance the birth mom changes her mind before the adoption is complete. In fact, around 50% of moms back out somewhere along the pregnancy and another 20% back out after the baby is born. Keep in mind that some states allow the mother to change her mind for a certain number of days even after everyone signs the final paperwork.
Another disadvantage of independent adoption is cost, and if the mom changes her mind, even at the very end, you do not get any of the money back. FindLaw outlines many of the costs involved. These include:
- Attorney and legal paperwork
- Advertising for potential birth mother
- Prenatal, medical and labor care
- Counseling costs
- Medical expenses
- Mother’s living expenses during pregnancy
Each state has different laws as to what expenses the adoptive parents can pay for, so it is imperative to discuss these with an attorney ahead of time. If a court sees expenses as if you are buying a baby, the adoption is in jeopardy.