The desire for a child can be overwhelming. But, how does the Missouri couple even begin the adoption process? For that matter, does it have to be a couple? Can an unmarried individual adopt a child?

Adoptions laws are designed to protect the child and can be complicated. The basic parameters for someone wanting to adopt a child include being over the age of 21, being physically and mentally healthy, maintaining a fairly steady income and living in a residence that meets the appropriate standards. Additionally, anyone wishing to adopt a child must pass a background check and successfully complete mandated training. The law does not require that those seeking to adopt be married. There is also a six-month residency requirement; however, this can sometimes be waived.

There are a variety of approaches that the Missouri resident seeking to adopt can take. Perhaps the one that is top of mind for most individuals is when an individual or couple desire to adopt a baby at or soon after its birth. This can be a scary, yet exciting time and experienced legal counsel can be invaluable in making sure that the process is as smooth as possible.

Another adoption possibility is through the foster care system. There are a number of children of all ages who are living in foster care and waiting to be adopted. If the child is 14 or older, then he or she must also agree to the adoption. Missouri residents seeking to adopt a child often have many questions and concerns; this is one area in which legal counsel can be essential.