Resources for Pregnant Women Considering Adoption
The laws regarding financial support for pregnant women planning to place their child for adoption vary from state to state. You may be able to get financial assistance with housing, medical needs and other expenses. You can find what the laws and policies are in your state by clicking here. An Adoption Professional (agency or attorney) in your state can also tell you what you may expect in terms of financial assistance.
Quoted from Child Welfare Information Gateway: Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses:
Approximately 47 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico have laws that provide some regulation of the fees and expenses that adoptive parents are expected to pay when arranging a private placement or independent domestic adoption.1 Some of the fees and expenses addressed in the statutes include expenses of the expectant mother during pregnancy and childbirth; placement costs, such as agency fees; and legal and attorney expenses for adoptive and birth parents.
In private or independent adoptions, the adoptive parents may pay some of the birth mother's expenses, particularly in the case of a pregnant woman planning to place her infant for adoption. Approximately 45 States, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands specify in their statutes the type of birth parent expenses a prospective adoptive family is allowed to pay.2 The actual dollar amount is usually limited to "reasonable and customary."
The types of expenses most commonly allowed by statute include:
- Maternity-related medical and hospital costs
- Temporary living expenses of the mother during pregnancy
- Counseling fees
- Attorney and legal fees and guardian ad litem fees
- Travel costs, meals, and lodging when necessary for court appearances or accessing services
- Foster care for the child, when necessary
Approximately seven States explicitly prohibit adoptive parents from paying certain types of expenses.3 Costs such as educational expenses, vehicles, vacations, permanent housing, or any other payment for the monetary gain of the birth parent often are excluded. In 16 States, the statutes do not exclude specific types of expenses but do indicate that any expense not expressly permitted by law or considered by the court to be unreasonable cannot be paid by the adoptive parents.4
Approximately 18 States specify time limits for the payment of the birth mother's living expenses or psychological counseling.5 The time limits set for these payments range from 30 days up to 6 months after the child's birth or placement. For example, Iowa allows postplacement counseling for 60 days but limits payment of living expenses to 30 days. New York limits payment of living expenses to 60 days prior to the child's birth and 30 days thereafter. Oklahoma allows payments for postplacement counseling for up to 6 months but limits other expenses to 2 months beyond placement of the child. In seven States, the payment of expenses may not exceed a set dollar amount unless the court grants an exception.6
- Hawaii, Rhode Island, Wyoming, and the Virgin Islands do not currently address the issue of adoption expenses in statute. The word "approximately" is used to stress the fact that States frequently amend their laws. This information is current through March 2013.
- Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands do not currently address the issue of birth parent expenses in statute. The District of Columbia addresses the issue in its municipal regulations.
- Illinois, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
- Arizona, California, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
- Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Vermont.
- Arizona ($1,000), Connecticut ($1,500), Florida ($5,000), Idaho ($2,000), Indiana ($3,000), Ohio ($3,000), and Wisconsin ($5,000).