Missouri Adoption Laws and Policies

You have many adoption options, and this is the perfect place to begin exploring them. Below, you’ll find Missouri adoption laws and policies and find adoption agencies and attorneys who work with families in Missouri.

Missouri Adoption Laws

Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families in different states. As a Missouri resident, you’ll want to work with an adoption agency or adoption attorney who is very familiar with Missouri adoption laws and policies. Below, learn all about the legal guidelines for families adopting in Missouri whether you’re adopting a newborn through domestic adoption, an infant or older child from U.S. foster care adoption, or a child through international adoption.

You’ll also find a link to adoption agencies and adoption lawyers offering services to Missouri families.

See all Missouri adoption agencies >

See all Missouri adoption attorneys >



Who Can Adopt in Missouri?

Any adult or married couple jointly may adopt, regardless of state residency.

Can LGBT families adopt? Not addressed in state statutes.

Domestic Adoption Laws in Missouri

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, adopting parents may use an adoption facilitator, as long as the facilitator complies with Dept. of Social Services’ regulations.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal (plus court costs, administration expenses), counseling, living (food, shelter, utilities, transportation, and clothing within community norms; adoption-related travel).

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Birthmother: 48 hours after birth; birthfather: any time.

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? After court approves consent. Court must approve the consent within 3 days or set a hearing on the consent. Return assumed to be automatic; this aspect of law untested.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes.

International Adoption Laws in Missouri

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, a decree will automatically be recognized by the state of Missouri as long as the adoption decree is issued under due process of law. In addition, the U.S. Dept. of Justice and U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service must recognize the adoption.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, adopting parents may petition to readopt in Missouri as long as the petition includes a copy of the adoption decree and documentation that the child legally entered the country from the U.S. Dept. of Justice and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The state Dept. of Health and Senior Services will prepare a birth certificate upon receipt of a copy of the adoption decree (translated if necessary) and documentation that the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service allowed the child to enter the U.S. The adopting parents must request that the Dept. issue a birth certificate.

Adoption From Foster Care in Missouri

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 5 years or older, has parents of a minority race, member of a sibling group of 2 or more children being placed together, has or is at risk of developing a mental, physical, or emotional condition. Subsidies may begin when adopting parents petition to adopt.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Missouri? http://dss.mo.gov/cd/adopt.htm

Missouri Adoption Unit

Program Manager: Amy Martin

205 Jefferson Street
Jefferson City, Missouri 65103
Phone: (573) 526-8040
Fax: (573) 526-3971
[email protected]


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but Adoptive Families cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.

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