Choosing the Right Law Firm is Essential to the Success of any Adoption

Adoption is certainly amongst the most rewarding practices of law, but it also presents the most profound risks. Adoptive families avoid unnecessary legal risks by hiring experienced and dedicated attorneys who specialize in adoption law. 

Mary Beck and Joanna Beck Wilkinson are state and national leaders in adoption law and have more than 40 years of combined experience in this area.  

The Law Offices of Mary Beck represents clients in all types of domestic adoption law, including:
  1. Agency adoptions, where a licensed child placing agency is involved in placement by helping adoptive and birth parents find and choose each other or providing education, counseling, home studies and post-placement services.
  2. Private and independent adoptions, where the parties came to know each through family, friends, faith community, or physician.
  3. Foster care adoptions, where the adoptee child is in the state’s protective custody and the adoptive petitioners must give notice to the Juvenile Office.
  4. Guardianship adoptions, where the adoptee child is in guardianship and adoptive petitioners must give notice to the guardianship court.
  5. Step-parent adoptions, where a person seeks to adopt his or her spouse’s child.
  6. Adult adoptions, where the person being adopted is an adult.
  7. Relative adoptions,  also called “kinship adoptions,” where the adoptive parents are related to the birth parents.
  8. Single-parent adoptions, where a single person seeks to adopt.
  9. Same-sex adoptions, where the adoptive parents are the same sex.
  10. Intrastate adoptions, where all parties reside in Missouri.
  11. Interstate adoptions, where only one party resides in Missouri.
  12. Intercountry adoptions, where the adoptive parents are foreign nationals and the child is a U. S. citizen.
  13. Foreign adoption recognition, where the adoption proceeding took place in another country and the U. S. citizen parties seek to have its legality recognized in the United States.
We also offer all of the necessary legal services to complete an adoption, including:
  • Educating clients on the entire legal process
  • Facilitating psychosocial counseling
  • Obtaining prenatal and vital records, including original and amended birth certificates
  • Setting up an adoption plan and post-placement contact if desired
  • Developing a hospital plan and coordinating with hospital personnel
  • Resolving birth parents’ parental rights
  • Securing legal transfer of custody after a child is born
  • Reconciling conflicts of law and assuring compliance with the Interstate Compacts on the Placement of Children (ICPC)
  • Legally finalizing the adoption
  • Obtaining passports for a child born in the U.S. when desired

offices in:

St. Louis & Columbia, Missouri



St. Louis: 314.962.0292
Columbia: 573.446.7554