Private adoptions and adoption ads are legal in Missouri.

A Missouri publisher asked whether it is appropriate to run classified ads for adoptions. Below is the response from attorney Jean Maneke, Missouri Press Association’s Legal Hotline counselor.

Private adoptions and adoption ads are legal in Missouri.
It is not unusual for a couple to advertise in this way because finding a pregnant woman interested in placing a child for private adoption is often difficult. All private adoptions require court supervision and so nothing happens without a court being involved. And the court strictly supervises the amount of money adoptee parents pay a mother for participating in the process, so there is that guarantee that children are not “bought” and “sold.”
Such ads are not unusual in large metro papers. Like any other ad from someone you do not know, I would make sure the money is there to pay for the ad.
Usually if a willing mother-to-be is located, the couple offers to pay her transportation
to wherever (often California), pays her medical expenses, and is permitted to pay her a small stipend while they wait for the childbirth. No other funds are permitted to be paid for the child.
If you have other questions, don’t hesitate to let me know.
—Jean Maneke, Esq. (jmaneke@manekelaw.com) (816) 753-9000.

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