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About Foster Children Available for Adoption in Missouri

Are you interested in opening your home to a MO foster child for adoption? For many reasons, welcoming Missouri foster children available for adoption into your home can be a satisfying and affordable way to grow your family.

Though some potential parents prefer the certainty, shorter timeline, and control over the process that private adoption provides, foster care adoption is a viable option for some families. That’s because it gives you a chance to provide a stable, loving home to foster kids available for adoption in MO who, through no fault of their own, need one.

If you’re contemplating whether private adoption or foster care adoption is right for your family, it could help to speak with an adoption professional about your options. To connect with one of our specialists, simply call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our online form.

For now, let’s take a closer look at foster children for adoption in Missouri: who they are, how many there are, and what kinds of special needs they may have.

Who are Missouri Foster Kids Waiting for Adoption?

In most ways, foster kids for adoption in Missouri aren’t any different from children who aren’t in foster care. They are developing into the people they’re meant to be, learning, growing, playing, hanging out with friends, and hoping for a loving home that provides stability.

The main difference between the average foster child for adoption in MO and any other kid is that a Missouri kid for adoption is more likely to have experienced significant childhood adversity in their biological home. The whole reason foster children for adoption end up in foster care is that they have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their parents or guardians. Many have experienced loss and trauma.

How Many Missouri Children in Foster Care Available for Adoption Are There?

In the United States, there are about 400,000 children in the foster system under the age of 18. At any time, there are approximately 13,000 children in foster care in the Missouri state foster system. About 1,500 of those Missouri foster children available for adoption have not had any identified adoptive parents.

As of November 2021 (the most recent year that data was available), there were 1,512 adoptions finalized involving foster kids available for adoption. That number marked a decrease of 13.6% from the previous year.

What are Some of the Special Needs of Foster Children Up for Adoption in Missouri?

Another defining characteristic of foster kids for adoption in Missouri is that many are classified as “special needs.” That term doesn’t align with the commonly attributed meaning of special needs but instead describes foster child placements that are particularly challenging for foster care adoption specialists.

Many MO foster children up for adoption fall into one of the categories below, which is something that any prospective adoptive parent should consider. Please continue reading to learn more about the special needs of many children in foster care available for adoption in Missouri.

Older Children

Unlike private domestic adoption, which almost exclusively involves infants, opening your home to foster kids for adoption in MO often means you’ll be adopting an older child. For some prospective parents, that’s not an issue. However, if your goal is to adopt an infant, foster care adoption isn’t the best path to achieving it.

Over 99 percent of American Adoptions’ placements involve newborns and infants. So, if your plan is to adopt an infant, working with American Adoptions is the best way to secure a successful placement. Conversely, most MO foster children available for adoption are older kids. In 2017, the median age of a child in foster care was 7.7 years old, and the median age for children exiting foster care (for either reunification or adoption) was 6.6 years old. 

The takeaway is adoptive parents seeking to adopt an infant from foster care will likely have an extended wait time.  However, for adoptive parents seeking an older MO foster kid for adoption or who aren’t concerned about the age of the child they wish to adopt, this is not an issue.

Sibling Groups

The primary goal of the Missouri foster care system is always reunification of children in foster care with their biological families. However, when that’s not possible, the state is committed to keeping Missouri foster children for adoption who are siblings together through joint placement.

Joint placement of sibling foster kids available for adoption in Missouri is important to the well-being of the children. After all, in many cases, siblings are the only remaining constant a child in the foster care system has. Some of the benefits of joint placement of sibling groups are:

  • Lower risk of failed placements
  • Fewer moves
  • Emotional benefits
  • Greater sense of security
  • They help each other adjust to their new family and community
  • It prevents a lifetime of longing and searching for lost brothers and sisters

Medical Conditions and Physical/ Emotional Disabilities

There are foster children for adoption in Missouri who have special mental, emotional, medical or developmental needs. Some people intentionally seek out these children and are specifically interested in adopting a child with Down syndrome from foster care or a child with mobility issues. 

Caring for any child is financially, emotionally and physically difficult, and it requires significant time, knowledge and effort. If a MO foster child for adoption has special needs, however, he or she will require even more. Not all parents have those resources.

Removal from biological family and familiar settings can be traumatizing for a child. The hope is that the foster child for adoption in MO will find a permanent home with a loving family that can handle their specific needs and gives them the care and love they deserve.

What it Means to Adopt Missouri Foster Kids Up for Adoption

Opening your home to foster children available for adoption in MO is a loving act, but it can also be challenging. While adopting an infant through private adoption is a pretty straightforward process, accepting a MO foster kid for adoption comes with some inherent difficulties, such as:

  • Difficult childhood circumstances can be traumatic: Many foster children available for adoption in MO have undergone tremendous hardship and trauma before being placed in foster care. Therefore, some children experience difficulty in their new circumstances, which requires them to work with a counselor. That will mean additional investment of time, emotion, and funds as the child adapt to your home. That’s not the case with a private domestic infant adoption. Your child will grow up from infancy in the home you provide, and they can benefit from open adoption, which often helps adoptees overcome feelings of rejection and grief.
  • Extra steps involved: When seeking a foster child for adoption in Missouri, you must undergo additional training not always required for parents pursuing private domestic adoption. Those additional steps can slow the process and be hard for hopeful parents to work into their schedule. For instance, the PS-MAPP training spans 10 weekly sessions. There is no such required training for private domestic adoption, however.
  • Fostering to adopt can be emotionally taxing: It’s common for hopeful parents looking for MO foster kids for adoption to begin their journey by “fostering to adopt” if the child’s parents retain their parental rights. But termination of parental rights doesn’t always happen. That can be difficult for an adoptive family to process. Even if it does happen, it could take years before the court terminates parental rights. On the other hand, in private domestic adoption, the parental rights of the birth parents are relinquished voluntarily. Once the adoption paperwork is signed, the adoption finalization process can begin.
  • Potential for reunification: Again, many prospective parents who want to welcome a foster child for adoption in MO begin their journey by fostering to adopt while they await the termination of the birth parent’s rights. The agencies charged with managing the foster care system are focused on restoring children in foster care to their birth parents. Adoption is secondary and must wait until the parental rights of the birth parents are exhausted. That can lead to disappointment for would-be adoptive parents. That’s not true of private domestic adoption. Once adoption papers are signed by the birth parents, your child will become fully yours to love and raise.

Why Private Domestic Adoption May Be the Best Way to Build Your Family

If you’re considering opening your home to foster children available for adoption in MO, you may be well served by considering the benefits that private domestic adoption provides. It’s the most direct, certain path to permanent family growth.

While providing a home to a MO foster child for adoption is noble, families who pursue private infant adoption often find it to be a life-changing experience. Some of the benefits of private infant adoption include:

  • You're guaranteed to adopt an infant
  • No need to worry that the child will have preexisting trauma or difficulties associated with childhood adversity
  • You can use your Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ) to create the perfect adoption experience
  • You won’t need to take as many steps as with foster care adoption
  • You’ll experience less uncertainty because birth parents provide consent before private adoption can proceed, and there’s no need to wait for the court to terminate parental rights of biological parents
  • You can choose open adoption and engage in free communication between you, your child, and the birth parents
  • And much more

If you have your heart set on a foster child for adoption in Missouri, then that’s likely your best path to growing your family. But if infant adoption seems to best suit your family, there’s no better agency to work with than American Adoptions.

For almost three decades, we’ve assisted over 13,000 families with making their adoption dreams come true. We have an industry-leading 96% success rate and offer 800x more marketing than leading competitors to ensure you enjoy much shorter wait times (average of 12 months) than other agencies.

Our compassionate, experienced staff of licensed social workers includes many who are themselves adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth mothers. Therefore, they’ve been in your shoes, know what you’re going through, and can help you get through it.

If you’re still wondering whether you want to adopt an infant through private adoption or a MO foster kid for adoption through the state foster system, please reach out to our specialists. We’re here to help. To speak with someone today, simply call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our online form.

Closing Thoughts on Children in Foster Care Waiting for Adoption in Missouri

Again, opening your home to foster children available for adoption in Missouri is certainly a noble, loving deed. However, it’s not right for everyone, and there are some distinct benefits to choosing private adoption if you want to build the family of your dreams.

If you’d like to speak with someone about your options today, simply call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our online form to connect with one of our professionals. We’re here, and we want to help, so call today.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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