453.010 Petition for Permission to Adopt, Venue, Jurisdiction – no denial or delay in Placement of Child Based on Residence or Domicile – expedited placement

Petition for permission to adopt, venue, jurisdiction — no denial or delay in placement of child based on residence or domicile — expedited placement, when. — 1.  Any person desiring to adopt another person as his or her child shall petition the juvenile division of the circuit court of the county in which:

  (1)  The person seeking to adopt resides;

  (2)  The child sought to be adopted was born;

  (3)  The child is located at the time of the filing of the petition; or

  (4)  Either birth person resides.

  2.  A petition to adopt shall not be dismissed or denied on the grounds that the petitioner is not domiciled or does not reside in any of the venues set forth in subdivision (2), (3) or (4) of subsection 1 of this section.

  3.  If the person sought to be adopted is a child who is under the prior and continuing jurisdiction of a court pursuant to the provision of chapter 211, any person desiring to adopt such person as his or her child shall petition the juvenile division of the circuit court which has jurisdiction over the child for permission to adopt such person as his or her child.  Upon receipt of a motion from the petitioner and consent of the receiving court, the juvenile division of the circuit court which has jurisdiction over the child may transfer jurisdiction to the juvenile division of a circuit court within any of the alternative venues set forth in subsection 1 of this section.

  4.  If the petitioner has a spouse living and competent to join in the petition, such spouse may join therein, and in such case the adoption shall be by them jointly.  If such a spouse does not join the petition the court in its discretion may, after a hearing, order such joinder, and if such order is not complied with may dismiss the petition.

  5.  Upon receipt of a properly filed petition, a court, as defined in this section, shall hear such petition in a timely fashion.  A court or any child-placing agency shall not deny or delay the placement of a child for adoption when an approved family is available, regardless of the approved family’s residence or domicile.  The court shall expedite the placement of a child for adoption pursuant to subsection 3 of this section.

  6.  A licensed child-placing agency may file a petition for transfer of custody if a birth parent consents in writing by power of attorney for placement of a minor child, a consent to adoption, or any other document which evidences a desire to place the child with the licensed child-placing agency for the purposes of transfer of custody of the child to the licensed child-placing agency.  The written consent obtained from the birth parent shall strictly comply with section 453.030.

(RSMo 1939 § 9608, A.L. 1947 V. II p. 213, A.L. 1997 H.B. 343, A.L. 1998 H.B. 1822 merged with H.B. 1918 merged with S.B. 674, A.L. 2001 S.B. 348, A.L. 2007 S.B. 84)

Prior revisions: 1929 § 14073; 1919 § 1095

(1954) Where two petitions for the adoption of the same child were filed by different petitioners, court had jurisdiction to treat them as a single action and, after being disqualified to act in one of the actions, also to disqualify himself from hearing the other. State ex rel. Earnest v. Meriwether (Mo.), 270 S.W.2d 20.

(1958) Where mother obtained permission to waiver her consent to adoption under § 453.050, court did not acquire continuing jurisdiction for adoption and transfer custody and subsequent petition by nonresidents to adopt child who was then in foreign state was dismissed.  In re Smith (A.), 314 S.W.2d 464.

(1963) Evidence sustained dismissal of petition for adoption on ground that there was considerable knowledge concerning antecedents of minor child by petitioners and of the petitioners by one or both of the natural parents and relatives and there was possibility of confrontation of a nature detrimental to the minor child.  In re K.W.S. (A.), 370 S.W.2d 698.