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Who can decide whether I place my child for adoption?

Who can help me if I am considering adoption?

People under 18 in Missouri have the right to place their children for adoption without their own parents' permission. Both birth/first parents, if both are known, must give permission for the adoption. There are special protections for young people placing children for adoption, and young people have the right to a lawyer.

Young people also have the right not to place their child for adoption, even if they have started the process or are working with an adoption agency, and even if the adoption agency or hopeful adoptive parents have spent money based on the expectation that the young person will place the child for adoption. Until the child is born and the legal adoption process is complete, young people have the right to change their minds.

An adoption agency can tell you more about the process and help you decide whether adoption is right for you. However, not all adoption agencies treat birth/first parents with the respect they deserve. We can connect​ you with ethical, non-discriminatory adoption agencies that will not pressure or coerce you into choosing adoption or try to prevent you from choosing abortion. If you are feeling pressured into choosing adoption, Right By You can provide more information on your rights and the help that may be available. For more information, text us at 855-458-0886.

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