Understanding Foster Care Adoption Cost in Missouri
It’s a fact that some kinds of adoption can be expensive, especially private domestic adoptions and international adoptions. However, that’s not an issue when it comes to the cost of adoption through foster care in Missouri.
For hopeful parents who want to build a family through foster care adoption, it’s important to note that the average cost to adopt a child from foster care in MO is much lower than other adoption types. Some families find foster care adoption isn’t just affordable but also a satisfying avenue to family growth that provides a stable, loving home to a deserving child.
If cost isn’t an issue, there are many benefits to domestic private adoption as well. For example, you’ll get to adopt an infant, choose the right adoption situation for your family, get to know the birth parents, and extend open adoption contact between the parties in the adoption triad when you pursue a private infant adoption.
If you haven’t decided between foster care adoption and private domestic adoption, we’d love to help. You can connect with one of our experienced professionals by calling 1-800-ADOPTION or completing our free online form. For now, let’s dig a little deeper into foster care adoption cost in MO and how they can impact your experience.
Understanding the Cost of Adoption Through Foster Care in Missouri
Before diving into the cost of adopting a foster child in Missouri, it’s good to become comfortable with a few concepts first. Foster care adoption is the adoption of children who are in the care of the state foster system. Many of these children have been removed from their homes for their own safety for a variety of reasons.
Prospective adoptive parents can adopt from foster care in two ways:
- Adoption: Once the biological parents of a child in the foster system have had their parental rights terminated, the child is immediately eligible for adoption.
- Foster to Adopt: If a child’s biological parents retain their parental rights, but the child needs temporary (and potentially permanent) families, then the foster-to-adopt path is possible. Foster parents are almost always needed to provide temporary homes for kids while their parents’ court cases are decided. If the parent’s rights are terminated, the child can be adopted permanently by the foster parents in most cases.
Your choice of which path to take will influence both your MO foster care adoption cost and the length of your adoption journey. For that reason, it’s a good idea to speak with a professional to get up-to-date information on the average cost of adoption through foster care in Missouri.
How Much Does Foster Care Adoption Cost in Missouri?
If you were a little taken aback by the estimated costs of private and international adoption, you might be wondering, “How much does it cost to adopt a foster child in MO?”
Fortunately, foster care is the most affordable kind of adoption, largely because it’s funded by the state. In Missouri, there are few, if any, fees that hopeful families seeking to adopt from the foster system must pay. Like many other states, Missouri provides subsidies and reimbursements for foster parents to help cover the needs of their foster child. If you’re in Missouri adopting a foster child, cost shouldn’t be an obstacle to making your adoption dreams come true.
So, is there really no cost to adopt a foster child in MO? For the most part, that is a true statement. The MO cost of foster to adopt situations is minimal. Even costs that may be associated with foster care adoption in other states are paid by the state of Missouri in most cases. Not to mention, if you do incur expenses, those costs will be offset by assistance and subsidies you will receive.
Even though foster care adoption cost in Missouri is basically free doesn’t mean that it’s right for you. There are many challenges that come with foster care adoption, even though cost is not one of them. Be sure that you’ve researched thoroughly before deciding if it’s right for your family.
What Fees are Included in Foster Care Adoption Cost in Missouri?
Though the cost to adopt a foster child is negligible, you may be wondering if there are any incidental fees or charges that you may be responsible for paying. In some cases, the average cost to adopt a child from foster care in MO may include:
- Matching and Advertising Fees (usually free through state listing services)
- Fees related to the home study
- Fees for agency services (if a private agency is used)
Though these fees may be payable upfront, most of the associated costs of adoption through foster care in MO will be reimbursed by the state. That’s why it continues to be the most cost-effective means of adoption for hopeful families.
Is the MO Foster to Adopt Cost Different from the Foster Care Adoption Cost?
Though the cost of adoption through foster care in MO is technically the same whether you simply adopt from foster care or foster to adopt first, there may be additional charges involved in the latter. Fostering a child means that you’ll be taking care of them in your home even though you don’t have full legal custody. Therefore, you’ll be responsible for the costs of their daily needs, such as housing, food, clothing, and transportation.
However, it’s worth noting that for some of the additional cost of foster to adopt situations in Missouri, you’ll get subsidies from the state to help pay some of those additional costs.
Why is the Foster Care Adoption Cost in MO So Low?
One of the reasons that foster care adoption cost in MO is so low is the fact that there are far more waiting children in need of a home than there are potential adoptive families. There are about 13,000 kids in the Missouri foster care system, and on average, 1,500 are eligible for permanent adoption at any time.
Many children waiting to be adopted through foster care have special needs that require special medical, educational or other remedial services. For that reason, it may be harder for the state to find homes for them. Also, adoption from foster care may also involve sibling groups, which can complicate placement even further.
Therefore, to help ease the concerns of would-be parents and offset some of the additional cost to adopt a foster child in MO, adoptive parents who open their homes to these children may be eligible for adoption subsidies. Such subsidies allow adoptive parents to provide the quality care necessary despite the additional MO foster care adoption cost.
Some of the factors that qualify an adoptee as “special needs” and result in additional subsidies may include:
- Being an older child
- Having a particular racial or ethnic background
- Being part of a sibling group needing to be placed together
- Having medical conditions
- Having physical, mental or emotional disabilities
Do Parents Get Paid to Offset Foster Care Adoption Cost in Missouri?
Parents don’t get paid by the state of Missouri to adopt from foster care. However, it’s possible for a foster parent to receive an adoption subsidy or reimbursement to supplement the average cost of adopting through foster care in MO.
To become a foster parent, you must prove you’re financially stable since the subsidies you get from the state may not cover all the child’s needs. You must make a commitment to provide for the child to become a parent, but there is help available to pay some of the cost of adoption through foster care in MO.
The following services are available to eligible families who ask for help:
- Payments to help with living expenses for the child, like food, clothing and shelter.
- Payment for medical, dental or other care through Missouri Medicaid (MO HealthNet) as a supplement to the adoptive/guardianship families' private medical or dental insurance plan.
- Payments for childcare for children up to age 13 when both parents are working.
- Other subsidy services may be available based on the individual needs of the child, as long as there is documentation of need by appropriate professionals.
Should I Consider Private Domestic Adoption Even Though the Cost is Higher?
If the idea of providing a stable, loving home to a waiting child who needs one appeals to you, foster care adoption may be the best way to build your family. Likewise, if the age of the child you adopt isn’t important to you, you can open your home to a deserving kid by adopting from foster care. If finances present an obstacle to growth for your family, foster care adoption cost in MO may make it even more attractive.
However, it’s wise to consider your adoption experience beyond the cost, as there are other factors to think about when it comes to growing your family through adoption. For example, though the cost for adoption through foster care in MO may be lower, private infant adoption can provide you with advantages such as:
- Opportunity to adopt an infant
- No preexisting trauma or difficulties associated with childhood adversity
- Ability to use your Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ) to specify your preference and guide you to the perfect adoption opportunity
- Fewer steps than foster care adoption
- Less uncertainty because birth parents provide consent before private adoption can proceed, and there is no need to wait for the court to terminate parental rights of biological parents
- Open adoption allows open communication between you, your child, and the birth parents
- And many more
If the idea of private infant adoption is appealing, there’s no better agency to work with than American Adoptions. We’ve helped more than 13,000 families make their adoption dreams come true over nearly three decades. We have a 96% success rate, which is among the leader in the industry. We also offer 800x more marketing than leading competitors to ensure you enjoy much shorter wait times (between 9-12 months) than other agencies.
Our staff is made up not just of licensed social workers with compassion and years of experience. Many of them are also adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth mothers themselves, so they know what you’re going through and how to help you get through it.
If you’re not sure whether foster care adoption or infant adoption is right for you, 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 Impressions on Foster Care Adoption Cost in Missouri
Working with the foster care system can be confusing, even though the cost to adopt a foster child in MO can be much lower than private infant adoption. Be sure to thoroughly research foster care adoption and what it can mean for you instead of making the decision on cost alone.
If you need more information about the cost of private infant adoption or foster care adoption cost in MO, we’re ready to help when you want to get started. Please call 1-800-ADOPTION or complete our online form to speak with one of our experienced adoption professionals today.
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