wikiHow to Adopt a Child in Missouri

Missouri's child adoption services are available to help any single man or woman over the age of 21, or if adopting as a couple, there must be at least 1 spouse who is 21. It involves a lot of time, usually months rather than weeks, and the prospective adoptive parents must be willing to open their lives, past and present, to the scrutiny of Missouri's Social Services, Children's Division.


  1. Image titled Adopt a Child in Missouri Step 1
    Check into different adoption programs to see if you qualify as an adoptive parent. Below is a list of criteria usually applied to an application, although different programs may have slightly different criteria.
    • Married couples must have been married at least 2 years.
    • Divorced individuals must be legally divorced for at least 1 year before beginning adoption proceeding.
    • Having other children is not a deterrent to adoption.
    • Most programs will require the ability to provide the child with a sense of his or her ethnic and cultural history. This is an important requirement when adopting a child of another race.
  2. Image titled Adopt a Child in Missouri Step 2
    Visit the Missouri Government's Children's Division website, and download the "Adoption Home Assessment Application Eligible Form." Fill it out, seal it in an envelope marked "Confidential" and mail it to your local county Children's Division office.
  3. Image titled Adopt a Child in Missouri Step 3
    Wait to be contacted by a social worker. A social worker with the Children's Division will begin screening your application with 30 days of receipt. You should receive a phone call to set up an appointment for a home study. This is a requirement of the state of Missouri for any adoption, and prospective parents must meet certain guidelines to be considered.
  4. Image titled Adopt a Child in Missouri Step 4
    Prepare for a home study. This home study generally takes 2 to 4 months to complete. You will be asked to provide documents such as personal references, a police record check, current medical history, proof of financial responsibility and a child abuse and neglect screening. Any costs associated with procuring these documents are the responsibility of the prospective adopters.
  5. Image titled Adopt a Child in Missouri Step 5
    Set up an initial meeting in your home with the social worker and your entire family. There could be several of these visits necessary, either in office or in your home. The social worker will inspect the entire home, including proposed sleeping quarters for the adopted child.
    • You do not have to own your own home to be considered for Missouri's adoption program. The social worker will check with your landlord in regards to your rental payment history as well as ensuring that children are welcome in your particular rental unit.
  6. Image titled Adopt a Child in Missouri Step 6
    Visit the Missouri Children's Division Adoption Listing website where you can browse through hundreds of pictures of children waiting to be adopted if you have not already found your child.
    • You can also find adoptable children by checking with private adoption programs. Some couples place advertisements in the newspaper offering a home to an unwanted baby. Normally these prospective parents will pay living expenses and medical costs incurred by the birth mother.
    • Once you have found your child and your application has been approved, the adoption agency will arrange an initial supervised meeting between the child and prospective parents. If things go well, there will be further meetings at neutral locations and eventually at the home of the prospective parents.
    • These should lead to overnight or weekend stays to make sure everyone is happy with each other. In some instances you can receive your child in as little as 1 day or as long as 1 month or more. That depends on the program within which you are working.
    • Once the child is home, there will be regular visits, both scheduled and un-scheduled for the next 6 months to assess the progress. If all goes well, you will get final approval at the end of that time and the child is yours.


  • If you are interested in adopting one of Missouri's special-needs children but are concerned about the cost of on-going medical care, the Missouri Adoption Subsidy Program (MASP) is available to qualified residents to underwrite medical, dental, psychological and psychiatric services for children before and after adoption. If necessary, they can also subsidize legal service charges. To receive these subsidies, the adoptive family must negotiate an agreement with the Missouri's Children's Division.

Things You'll Need

  • Adoption Application form
  • Police report
  • Credit report
  • Medical report
  • Personal references

Article Info

Categories: Adoption