Discretionary appointment of counsel

Key_development Question_mark

04/22/2022, Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

Previously, under Mo. Ann. Stat. § 453.030(11), a birth parent had a right to legal representation "and payment of any reasonable legal fees incurred throughout the adoption process", with such fees to be paid by the adoptive parents unless indigent.  However, the statute was amended in 2022 to remove this provision about payment of fees.


The statute still provides that "[T]he court may appoint an attorney to represent a birth parent" if the birth parent requests such counsel, is not already be represented by counsel, and is, in the court's view, faced with "financial hardship" if obliged to hire an attorney out of pocket.

Appointment of Counsel: discretionary Qualified: no