Adoption Unplanned Pregancy

The Truth about Safe Haven Baby Adoptions in Kansas City

While looking for adoption options for your newborn baby, you might have come across something called “safe haven” laws. But what exactly are they?

Safe haven adoption laws in Kansas and Missouri allow for a mother to relinquish custody of her healthy newborn baby to pre-approved safe locations and professionals without legal repercussions. Created as a response to tragedies stemming from the unsafe abandonment of newborns, safe haven laws allow a mother to safely give up custody of her child if she feels she cannot be a suitable parent.

“Baby drop off boxes” for safe haven laws rarely exist anymore; the law requires you to leave your unharmed child with any employee on duty at certain fire stations, city or county health departments or medical care facilities. From there, the employee will notify an adoption agency to proceed with a safe haven baby adoption in Kansas City. A mother will not be legally prosecuted for leaving her child at a safe haven location, and the safe haven laws will also protect her anonymity in doing so.

Some overwhelmed mothers are attracted to the idea of a baby safe haven adoption because it seems like an easy and risk-free solution, but choosing to relinquish custody of your child in this way may not your best option. Instead, you should know that it’s never too late to choose adoption — and working with Michael Belfonte will make that process as smooth as possible for you.

Even if you’ve already given birth to your baby, you can contact Michael at 816-842-3580 for free at any time to start the adoption process for your child.

So, why should you choose to make an adoption plan in Kansas and Missouri?

  • You know that your child is safely and quickly placed with a loving family, rather than leaving them at a safe haven location, where they may end up in foster care until they are adopted.
  • With adoption, you can place your child months after they’re born. Safe haven laws are only applicable to infants 45 days old or younger in Kansas and 1 year or younger in Missouri.
  • Like safe haven laws, choosing to place your child for adoption has no child abandonment legal repercussions for you.
  • If you so choose, you can also remain anonymous in adoption. Your information will always be kept confidential by your adoption professional unless you wish to share it with your baby’s adoptive family and, if you wish to have the same amount of privacy provided by safe haven laws, you can choose a closed adoption.
  • Adoption is completely free for you, and you can even receive financial support through the adoption process. You will also be entitled to counseling to explore all of your options and determine if adoption really is the best choice for your situation.

Remember, while safe haven baby adoptions in Kansas City may seem like the best solution, a better solution may be to place your baby for adoption with a qualified adoption attorney and adoption agency. To get started with your adoption, you can call Mike Belfonte at 816-842-3580 or contact him online here.

Adoption Unplanned Pregancy

3 Questions You Have About Transracial Adoption in Kansas City

Caucasian mom and smiling black daughter read in bed, close-up

As you’re considering all the options available to you in adopting a child, you may wonder about transracial adoption in Kansas City — and whether it’s right for you.

Transracial adoption is any adoption where the race or ethnicity of the adopted child is different from that of their adopted parents. An interracial adoption comes with all of the challenges of any same-race adoption but also adds some unique difficulties.

If you’re considering a transracial adoption in Kansas City, it’s important that you’re fully prepared for the realities of this kind of adoption. In this article, we’ll address some of the questions you may have to help you decide whether this is the right path for you. Because of our partnership with national adoption agency American Adoptions, we can also offer advice from trusted social workers who know a great deal about transracial adoption — so you can ask them your questions yourself.

Deciding whether or not transracial adoption is right for you is just another step that will take you closer to becoming parents. Keep reading to find out what you need to know about transracial adoption in Kansas City.

  1. How do I know if transracial adoption is right for me?

If you’re considering a transracial adoption, it’s a good sign that it’s a possibility for your family. There is an opportunity for an interracial adoption in almost every method of adoption — private domestic, international, foster care adoption, stepchild adoption and so on.

For many parents, choosing a transracial adoption is a way to speed up their adoption process. There are many minority children waiting in foster care, and many adoption agencies have created specific programs for the adoption of infants with certain racial backgrounds. Being open to adopting children of various races increases the number of potential adoption opportunities available to hopeful parents, leading to lower adoption wait times.

Most of all, however, it’s important that you are fully open to adding any child to your family, regardless of race or physical similarities. If you’re open to a multicultural household and are excited at the prospect of a diverse family makeup, an interracial adoption may be the perfect choice for you.

  1. Are there any differences in the adoption process for a transracial adoption?

As mentioned before, a transracial adoption may be much quicker than a same-race adoption placement.

Beyond that, your adoption process will likely proceed in the same way. You will need to be cleared by a social worker for a transracial adoption when they complete your home study, and you will need to take certain steps to prepare for your transracial adoption placement. If you adopt internationally, the country you adopt from may have specific requirements for an interracial adoption, so check with Michael or your international adoption agency.

The only additional legal process you may need to complete is adhering to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). If you are adopting a child of Native American descent who is eligible to be a tribe member, you will have to follow certain legal requirements. Most of the time, this will not hinder your ability to complete a transracial adoption in Kansas City.

  1. How do you prepare for a transracial adoption in KC?

In many ways, how you prepare for a transracial adoption is not incredibly different from any other adoption — you’ll need to know how to talk to your child about their adoption, how to preserve their birth story and identity as an adopted child, and more.

However, because a child adopted through a transracial adoption will not look like their parents, you may be more likely to encounter insensitive questions about the adoption process and your child’s history. As adoptive parents, you will be responsible for addressing many of these questions and comments and protecting your child’s identity. If you’re considering a transracial adoption in Kansas City, here are some things you’ll need to do:

  • Learn about your child’s culture and race and incorporate these aspects naturally into their life.
  • Learn about your child’s specific physical and health needs. For example, if you’re adopting an African American baby, understand how to properly care for their hair.
  • Address the issue of racism with your child and your entire family, giving them tips on how to answer certain questions and respond in certain situations.
  • Surround your family with as much diversity as possible — not just people of your child’s race but people of all races and abilities.

Above all else, you’ll need to make sure you create a sense of belonging from the very beginning. Just because your child looks different from you does not mean they aren’t an integral part of your family dynamic, so reassure them often that they are loved and are not alone.

Choosing to pursue a transracial adoption in Kansas City is a great way to build your family — but it’s important that you’re fully prepared for the unique challenges involved before embarking on this journey. It’s a good idea to look for transracial adoption blogs, as they can help you see the realities of a transracial adoption from someone currently experiencing the process.

Attorney Mike Belfonte can also help you learn more about the emotional and legal requirements for an interracial adoption. Contact him today at 816-842-3580 to ask him your questions about adopting in Kansas City.

Unplanned Pregancy

Keeping Adoption Secret

A young woman sits with a hot drink and her feet up, watching out of the window from the comfort of her own home. She is taking a break from her chores and busy day to day routine to gaze into her garden and wonder.

In an ideal situation, the people in your life would be supportive and helpful in your decision to place your child for adoption. But that’s not always the case.

Michael Belfonte and his partners at American Adoptions have experience working with pregnant women considering adoption who feel that keeping their adoption a secret is the only option available to them.

While Michael and American Adoptions encourage you to try to find a way to make adoption work without having to try to hide your pregnancy and/or adoption, sometimes a secret adoption is the best way to keep you safe throughout your pregnancy.

If you feel that you could be in real danger if someone in your life finds out about your pregnancy or adoption decision, you should call 1-800-ADOPTION immediately; an adoption specialist can help you find the resources you need to remove yourself from an abusive situation.

Some women choose adoption for their baby because they don’t want their child to grow up in an abusive environment, and the safety in a confidential adoption is the only way they can achieve that.

Closed or Confidential Adoption: Are They The Same Thing?

Generally, a “closed adoption” is a situation in which the adoptive family and adopted child have very little information about you until the child turns 18 and can access his or her original birth certificate with your name on it. Michael doesn’t usually recommend closed adoptions because they can be for everyone involved in the adoption — especially the adopted child.

Open adoptions are now the standard for adoption in the U.S. This allows you to keep an open line of communication with your child and the adoptive family and have whatever amount of contact you feel comfortable with.

A “confidential adoption” helps the birth mother keep her adoption a secret from certain people in her life, if necessary. It’s difficult to hide a pregnancy entirely, but an adoption specialist can advise you on how to have a secret adoption when appropriate for safety reasons.

Keeping Adoption a Secret is Possible

While a confidential adoption isn’t ideal or recommended, sometimes it’s the only way for a pregnant woman to feel safe until her baby is adopted. If that’s the case, then Michael and American Adoptions can help.

Please contact Michael if you have questions about the legal requirements in a confidential adoption, or call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak to an American Adoptions specialist about your current situation and to learn if a secret adoption is possible for you.

Unplanned Pregancy

Questions to Ask Adoptive Parents

Portrait of positive beautiful pregnant woman in bed

If you’re ready to speak with a potential adoptive family about adopting your baby, you may not be sure what kind of questions to ask them or what you should look for in an adoptive couple.

Of course you want to make sure that they’ll be the best possible parents for your baby. You have complete control over who raises your child, so it’s important that you ask whatever you feel like you need to know in order to feel confident about committing to the adoption opportunity.

What to Ask Yourself When Looking for an Adoptive Family for Your Baby

Here are a few things that can be helpful to consider when you’re in the early stages of finding adoptive parents for your baby:

  • Where do I want my baby to grow up? A big city on the coast? A farm in a rural area?
  • What kind of parents do I envision for them? How often do I want them to be home? What are their personalities like?
  • Do I want my baby to have older siblings? How many? What ages?
  • Is it ok if the adoptive family has pets? Dogs? Cats?
  • What kind of activities do I envision my child doing with their adoptive family? Do I want my child to grow up with a family that participates in a lot of sports? That reads a lot? That travels?
  • Do I want my child raised in a religious household?
  • What kinds of educational opportunities do I want available to my child?
  • How much (if any) contact do I want to maintain with the family after the adoption?

These questions will help you to determine your ideal adoptive parents for your child. The adoption specialists that Michael Belfonte works with at American Adoptions can help match you with prospective adoptive parents based on your vision for the adoption.

Talking with Adoptive Parents for the First Time

Once an adoption specialist has found potential matches with adoptive families for you to consider, you’ll have the opportunity to talk with them in a conference call. Your adoption specialist will be on the line to help guide you all through that first conversation together.

Most of the conversation will be spent just getting to know each other. Hopefully, by the end of the phone call, you’ll feel more connected to your baby’s possible adoptive parents, and you’ll have a clearer sense of whether or not these are the right parents to raise your child.

Here are a few questions that you can start off with just to get to know them better:

  • What do you like to do on the weekends?
  • What’s your dream vacation?
  • What’s your favorite thing to do together?
  • What’s your favorite TV show to watch right now?
  • How did you two meet?

Good questions to ask adoptive parents can start off with the simplest things. General questions like these will help you get a picture of their personalities and what kind of parents they might be.

Some questions to ask an adoptive family to help understand what they might be like as parents could include:

  • Do you have any fun family traditions?
  • What do you do to celebrate holidays?
  • What’s the most valuable lesson that you would pass on to your children?
  • Is there any particular place you’d love to take your family?
  • What kind of activities would you want to enroll your children in?
  • What values would you prioritize in your family?

Questions that are more open-ended can help prospective parents open up more and help you to understand the kind of family dynamic they’d offer your child. Even silly stories about their family might be helpful to you.

The details of your adoption plan are best discussed directly with your adoption specialist, and any other questions that the two of you may have as interview questions to ask an adoptive parent can be brought up as they occur. Remember: if you think of important questions to ask the adoptive parents that you may have forgotten earlier, write them down!

Questions Not to Ask Adoptive Parents

There are a few questions that are inappropriate to ask prospective adoptive parents. Your adoption specialist can prepare you for any topics you should take care to avoid, but generally you should avoid these:

  1. Any questions or comments about infertility
  2. Direct questions about their identifying information
  3. Any questions or comments about money

Many prospective adoptive parents have struggled with infertility, and it’s a painful topic for them. Other prospective adoptive parents don’t have fertility problems; they simply prefer to create their family through adoption. It’s best to just avoid the subject altogether to prevent any accidental hurt feelings.

Very specific questions about details of their lives should be avoided until they feel comfortable offering that kind of information or when post-adoption contact is discussed, especially if you don’t plan on having a fully open adoption. Try to avoid questions that you wouldn’t feel comfortable with a stranger on the street asking you, like questions about your last name, where you work or your address.

Questions or comments about money shouldn’t be brought up in front of prospective adoptive parents. This is something that you can always discuss with Michael or your adoption specialist; questions or concerns about finances should be directed to them, and they can bring up any questions about money with the adoptive parents on your behalf.

Ask Whatever You Need To In Order to Feel Confident

When thinking of interview questions to ask an adoptive parent, remember that the goal is for you to feel more confident about your adoption decision. So, ask the prospective adoptive parents and your adoption specialist whatever you need to know in order to feel good about this decision.

For example, some women considering adoption feel better knowing that their child will be raised in household that volunteers their time to help the community. Others want their baby raised in a particular religion or part of the country. Ask questions when talking with adoptive parents that will put your worries to rest for you!

Talking with adoptive parents and asking the questions that you need answered can help you feel more comfortable moving forward with the adoption and reassure you that your baby will be raised by wonderful adoptive parents.

To start searching for an adoptive family now, you can call Michael Belfonte at 816-842-3580 with any questions that you may have, or contact him online without any obligation.

Adoption Unplanned Pregancy

Is Open Adoption Legally Enforceable in Kansas City?

Woman sitting looking at a photo

The promise of post-adoption contact can be an exciting prospect for all involved in the adoption triad. However, you may worry that the other set of parents in the adoption may not keep up their end of the agreement, which can cause disappointment and concern over the effect on the central figure of the adoption — the adopted child.

Some parents may wonder if there’s any way an open adoption contact agreement can be enforced legally. Unfortunately, Kansas and Missouri currently do not allow for enforceable post-adoption contact agreements. If either a birth parent or an adoptive parent breaks their post-adoption contact promise, there are no legal consequences that could be addressed in court.

However, you should not let this deter you from choosing an open adoption. In the majority of cases, both birth mothers and adoptive parents will keep the contact promise they made — as it’s just as important to them as it is to the other party. In fact, for many birth mothers, the possibility of an open adoption is why they made their adoption choice in the first place. They will want to see their child grow up and, more likely than not, will do everything they can to continue their contact.

Likewise, once they are fully educated about open adoption, adoptive parents will understand the importance of open communication for their adopted child throughout the years — and will do all they can to honor the choice the birth mother made and support her through her healing process.

If you’re worried about a birth or adoptive parent continuing to stay in contact with you, there are some things you can do:

  • Choose a professional who will mediate post-adoption contact. When a parent begins to decrease the frequency of their contact, you may feel frustrated. Things can get complicated if you try to fix it by yourself, and you may end up doing more harm than good. If your contact is mediated by a professional, they will know the best way to speak to the other party about their lapse in communication and handle the situation going forward — without harming the relationship you already have.
  • Establish a solid relationship with the birth or adoptive parents. Open adoption can be more than just an agreement to send and receive pictures and letters every couple of months; before placement, it gives you the chance to get to know your adopted child’s birth parents or adoptive parents in a way that will be highly beneficial for the future. If you have the chance to build a strong friendship with the birth or adoptive parents before placement, it’s highly recommended. The more you understand, respect and trust each other, the less likely it will be that the other parents will break their agreement to keep in touch as the years go by.
  • Make your expectations known. While you cannot create a legally binding post-adoption contact agreement in Kansas or Missouri, you can certainly create a written agreement that outlines contact expectations throughout your adoption process. In fact, this kind of written document is encouraged in any open adoption. If you work with Michael Belfonte, he can help you with this written agreement, as well as provide you ongoing contact mediation services through his agency partner, American Adoptions.

Remember, just because an open adoption contact agreement is not legally binding in Kansas or Missouri doesn’t mean that you can’t have a successful open adoption relationship with your child’s birth or adoptive parents. More often than not, a prospective birth mother chooses adoption because she can watch her child grow up through open adoption — and has no intention of ever going back on her open adoption agreement. Similarly, adoptive parents understand how important open adoption communication can be and will likely do all they can to honor your contact agreement.

However, if a birth parent does break their post-adoption contact agreement, it’s important that adoptive parents continue to send the pictures, letters, emails, etc. that you agreed to. In many cases, if a birth parent decreases their contact frequency, it may be because they’re at a difficult point in their life — and fully intend to return to their previous contact frequency as soon as they can. It will mean a great deal to them that you continue to honor your agreement and give them updates on their adopted child during this time.

On the other hand, if adoptive parents miss a scheduled contact with you as a birth parent, it’s important that you do not jump to conclusions about their intentions. Like anyone else, unforeseen situations can come up that may delay their contact with you. If you’re concerned about them holding up their end of the agreement, we recommend you reach to your adoption professional, who can approach them professionally and non-confrontationally about honoring their contact agreement.

To find out more about how Michael Belfonte can help you with your open adoption contact agreements in Kansas City, give him a call at 816-842-3580.

Adoption Unplanned Pregancy

Can I Get My Child Back After Adoption in Kansas City?

Woman looking out a window in thought

Sometimes, when a birth mother is unsure of her adoption decision, she wonders “Can I get my baby back after adoption?” If you’re thinking this, it’s important that you consider your reasons for choosing adoption — and decide whether it’s actually the best choice for you.

If you’re asking “How can I get my child back after adoption?” you may simply be second-guessing yourself, or you may be changing your mind about your adoption plan. Questioning whether adoption is right for you isn’t wrong, but it’s important that you address these thoughts sooner rather than later so you can ensure you’re making the best possible choice for yourself and your baby.

If, on the other hand, you have not yet chosen adoption and are asking yourself these questions, you need to know that you will have no parental rights after you give up a child for adoption. While you may be in contact with your child and their adoptive parents through open adoption, you will not have any legal rights or responsibilities for your child. Because adoption is a permanent decision, it’s important to be sure of your choice before signing legal adoption documents.

The laws regarding your adoption rights will be different depending on if you live in Kansas or Missouri:

  • Can I get my child back after adoption in Kansas? Once you sign the adoption consent papers in Kansas, you cannot revoke your decision — which is why it’s so important that you are absolutely confident in your adoption choice before signing.
  • Can I get my child back after adoption in Missouri? Missouri allows some protections when it comes to the revocation of adoption consent. While you can sign your consent to adoption starting 48 hours after the baby is born, your consent may be withdrawn anytime until it is reviewed and accepted by a judge in court. There are no laws stating when a written consent must be brought before a judge, but once it has, it must be approved by the court within three days.

If you’re questioning how to get your child back after adoption, you should not rely on the revocation laws as your last resort. Having doubts about your adoption decision is natural, so it’s important that you speak with your adoption support system and your adoption specialist about your worries ahead of signing your adoption consent. The more open you are about your feelings throughout the adoption process, the easier it will be to make your final adoption or parenting decision.

If you’re questioning your adoption decision or need some immediate advice, Mike recommends you call his adoption agency partner, American Adoptions. Adoption specialists are available 24 hours a day, for free, to answer your questions and address your concerns, especially if you’re thinking about how to get your child back after adoption. They can help you understand your feelings and move forward from them — no matter which decision you make.

Still wondering if you can get your baby back after adoption or have questions about your birth mother rights in open adoption in Kansas City? Mike can discuss your individual situation to determine your options and your legal rights in your adoption. You can give him a call for free at 816-842-3580 or contact him online.

Abortion Unplanned Pregancy

Your Choices Other than Abortion in Kansas City

Nurse Showing Patient Test Results On Digital Tablet

When you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy, you have three basic options: to parent, to place your child for adoption or to have an abortion.

It’s not uncommon for women to rush into an abortion decision. In the stress of first discovering an unplanned pregnancy, abortion may seem like a “quick fix,” but it’s actually not as simple of an option as people think. There are actually several alternative options to abortion that may be better for you — and your unborn child — in the long run.

Whether you already know you don’t want to terminate your pregnancy or just want to consider your other options, you may wonder how to decide between the two alternatives to abortion. In the end, the only one who can make the best choice for you and your baby is you.

If you think adoption might be right for you, Mike Belfonte can help you get started with the process in Kansas or Missouri. But, if you’re still unsure about your options for an unwanted pregnancy other than abortion, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the basics of each.

Parenting vs. Adoption

When deciding between adoption or keeping your baby, there are some important things you need to know. Both parenting and adoption are permanent choices that will affect the rest of your life in different ways. No matter which one you choose, know that you will get to watch your child grow — whether as a part of your own family or with the adoptive family of your choice.

Before you decide to parent, you should consider the responsibilities that come with raising a child. Cost is one factor to consider; the most recent data shows it costs at least $245,000 to raise a child for 18 years. You should also ask yourself if you can provide the stable household you want for your child. Will you have to raise the child on your own as a single mother, or will you be able to co-parent with the baby’s father? It’s important that you determine whether you are really ready to be a parent or if you’re pushing yourself into a long-term commitment too quickly.

You should consider all of your options before deciding to raise your child. We recommend you contact us or speak to a counselor at Michael’s partner adoption agency, American Adoptions (1-800-ADOPTION), to determine if you are in the right situation to parent your child.

If you’re curious about adoption, you should know there are many reasons for why women choose adoption over abortion or parenting. First off, adoption is completely free for pregnant women. Not only does choosing adoption protect you from the financial burden of a pregnancy and parenting, but you can also choose every aspect of your adoption, including the perfect adoptive family with which to place your baby. You can even be in contact with the adoptive family as your baby grows up.

It may seem like an intimidating choice, but remember that Mike Belfonte can walk you through every step of your adoption process, making sure it’s completed safely and legally in both Kansas and Missouri.

At the end of the day, you are the only one who can decide which unplanned pregnancy option is the best for you. If you’re considering adoption over abortion and parenting, you can call Mike Belfonte at 816-842-3580 to discuss your individual situation for free and with no obligation, or contact him online here.