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Springfield Adoptions Lawyers

Helping Missouri Families Navigate Local & International Adoptions

Adding a new member to your family, regardless of the reason, is an important step for everyone in your household. Unfortunately, the adoption process is notoriously complex and often hinders those looking to adopt instead of helping them. 

Whether you are a stepparent seeking to legalize your parental relationship, pursuing the adoption of your grandchild, or looking to add a new member to your household, our Missouri adoption lawyers are ready to help you explore all your options.

Contact Neale & Newman at (417) 670-2520 to speak with us about your adoption needs.

Types of Adoptions We Handle

Neale & Newman, L.L.P. can guide you through a successful and secure adoption in a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Domestic Adoptions - This term is applied to any adoption that occurs within the United States.
  • International Adoptions - This term is applied when an adoption involves another country outside of the U.S.
  • Stepparent Adoptions - This term is applied when a stepfather or stepmother legally adopts their spouse's minor children.
  • Grandparent Adoptions - If a child's parents are deceased or considered unfit, they may be legally adopted by a grandparent.
  • Inter-family Adoptions - A child may be adopted by an uncle, aunt, or another relative in the event that the parents are deceased, incapacitated, or otherwise unfit.

How Can An Adoption Attorney In Springfield Help You?

The adoption process can be tricky and complicated. An attorney will help to guide you through each step of the way and will help to ensure that the process is as smooth as possible for you and/or your family. From providing you with objective legal advice to supporting you emotionally and addressing any questions that you may have, hiring an experienced attorney who has worked with families looking to adopt will benefit you greatly.

Our Missouri adoption attorney can help in some of the following ways:

  • Legal Guidance: Providing you with objective legal advice.
  • Paperwork: Handling the paperwork involved with your adoption.
  • Negotiation: Effectively negotiating on your behalf and helping you achieve a successful outcome.
  • Mistakes: Helping you avoid making any mistakes that may prolong the process or cost you money.
  • Emotional Support: Serving as an emotional support system during this time, and may help to reduce any possible stress levels.
  • Representation: Representing you if your case is taken to court, and helping to ensure the best possible outcome for your unique adoption case.

What Are Missouri’s Adoption Laws?

The laws related to adoption in MO are designed to keep children and their prospective parents safe, as well as ensure that all parties involved have the necessary information throughout each step. Missouri's adoption laws include:

  • prior home studies for all types of adoption
  • background screenings
  • education for potential adoptive parents
  • post-placement supervision for the first year after adoptees join their new families

Other provisions exist within the boundaries of these laws depending on what type of adoption process is taking place. Ultimately, these laws serve an important purpose in ensuring that the needs of adopted children and their newfound loved ones are met with safety and comfort.

Who is Eligible to Adopt in Missouri?

Missouri is one of the few states that make it easier for those looking to adopt by not requiring specific eligibility criteria beyond that set by the National Adoption Act and Federal Regulations. To become eligible to adopt in Missouri, prospective parents must first be at least 21 years old, successfully complete a home study evaluation, demonstrate they are financially and emotionally able to adopt, and have no disqualifying activities in their background.

Additionally, adopters must be U.S. citizens or hold legal residency status in the U.S., single persons must show they have been free from a previous marriage for at least one year unless adopting jointly with the other parent, and married couples must have been together for at least one year before applying. Missouri provides a great opportunity for prospective parents who meet these criteria to take part in an adoption journey that can ultimately give children loving homes.

How Much Does It Cost to Adopt a Child in Missouri?

Adopting a child in Missouri can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it does come with a cost. The cost of adopting a child in the state of Missouri can vary greatly depending on the type of adoption, the agency being used, and other factors. Generally speaking, international adoptions tend to be more expensive than domestic. In addition, private agencies typically charge much higher fees than public or nonprofit ones. Ultimately, potential adoptive parents should carefully research all available options so that they can make an informed decision about their adoption plan and know what kind of financial commitment to expect when pursuing Missouri adoptions.

Process for Adoption in Missouri

There are several steps in the complex process of adoption in Missouri. The general adoption process includes:

  • Eligibility: The requirements mentioned above.
  • Choosing adoption attorney or agency: To facilitate the adoption process, prospective adoptive parents should work with an adoption attorney in Missouri or a licensed agency.
  • Complete a home study: All adoptive families are required to go through a home study. This process involves interviews, background checks, and visits to your home that help determine the suitability for a child.
  • Find a child: Working with an agency or attorney, prospective adoptive parents can find a child who is available for adoption. This can be either locally or internationally.
  • Complete the adoption petition: Once a child has been identified, the adoptive parents must complete an adoption petition and file it with the court.
  • Attend a court hearing: A judge will review the adoption petition and may schedule a hearing to finalize the adoption. At the hearing, the adoptive parents will be required to testify and answer any questions the judge may have.
  • Finalize the adoption: Once the adoption is approved by the court, the adoptive parents will receive a final decree of adoption. This document legally establishes the adoptive parent-child relationship.

Depending on the specific circumstances, the adoption process may look different for each unique case. If you are interested in adoption, contact our adoption attorneys in Springfield today to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about what the adoption process entails for your family locally or nationally.

Suggested Reading:

If you're looking to adopt a child in Missouri or abroad, turn to Springfield adoption attorneys for experienced legal guidance. Call us at (417) 670-2520 today!

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