When a Birth Mother reaches out to an adoption professional for help creating her adoption plan, she is typically in a situation where she will need some financial support for her pregnancy-related expenses, if allowed by state law. Usually, the Adoptive Families will be the ones responsible for providing the Birth Mother with reasonable pregnancy-related expenses. Since the Adoptive Families are responsible for these payments, many are curious about what exactly this cost entails and what it will ultimately mean going forward with the adoption. Even though most Adoptive Families understand a Birth Mother’s financial needs and have it in their hearts to help their Birth Mother, they also need to know what specific payments are ahead since there are so many other fees associated with the adoption process. While every state has its laws and regulations regarding adoption expenses, here are some general things you should know about the expenses you may need to cover on the Birth Mother's behalf, as allowed by state law.
Most Common Birth Mother Expenses:
- Maternity-related medical and hospital costs
- Temporary living expenses of the mother during her pregnancy
- Counseling fees
- Attorney and legal fees
- Travel costs of the Birth Mother to and from the doctor
Maternity-Related Medical and Hospital Cost
Most Birth Mothers will have Medicaid or insurance that will cover their medical expenses during their pregnancy and after the birth. However, if they do not, the Adoptive Parents will need to be prepared to pay these expenses. Medical and hospital costs may cover everything from the beginning of the pregnancy, with prenatal and doctor visits, through the delivery of the baby.
Temporary Living Expenses
Financial assistance for a Birth Mother’s living expenses will vary based on her stage of pregnancy and state or county in which she lives in. In terms of what is actually paid for when considering adoption living expenses, these expenses are usually limited to housing, basic utilities, food and maternity clothes. While you will not always expect to cover all of these expenses, these are the kinds of things you may be requested to help out with in the adoption process depending on your Birth Mother’s state laws. Most states will also allow the Adoptive Parents to provide financial support during their Birth Mother’s recovery for a specified period of time after the baby is born.
A Birth Mother’s decision to create an adoption plan for her baby will be one of the most difficult decisions she will have to make. Her adoption story also will not end after the birth, but will continue as she begins to heal, physically, mentally and emotionally after the birth and adoptive placement. Post-adoption Birth Mother counseling is optional but many women find it helpful to speak to a professional when they’re struggling with grief and trying to adjust to life after the child’s adoption is finalized. Most adoption professionals, including Adoption Network Law Center, will require the Adoptive Parents to set aside funds dedicated towards their Birth Mother’s counseling.
Attorney and Legal Fees
Adoptive Parents will cover the Birth Parents separate attorney fees to ensure the legal rights of the Birth Parents have been properly terminated.
Some Birth Mothers do not have reliable transportation. If allowed by state law, you may be able to provide financial support for a mobile car service or bus passes to help them get to their doctor appointments or to the grocery store.
Financial Protection for Adoptive Parents
Unfortunately, adoption disruptions are a reality. While there is no way to guarantee against a Birth Mother changing her mind, Adoption Network Law Center stands by its commitment to provide every Adopting Family with services until a successful adoption is achieved. Unlike most adoption entities, in certain adoption disruption situations, Adoption Network Law Center also offers financial protection to Adoptive Parents for specific Birth Mother living expenses that were paid during the adoption opportunity.
Birth Mother Scams
Many hopeful Adoptive Parents have heard the stories of adoption scams. It is important to know that there is a difference between a Birth Mother changing her mind and a Birth Mother who accepts money with no intention to place, or a woman who is posing as a Birth Mother but is not even pregnant. Committing an adoption scam is a criminal activity and in recent years, women have been prosecuted and charged for this fraudulent behavior.
What one Adoptive Family will pay in Birth Mother expenses will be different from another’s depending on the Birth Mother’s needs and the laws of her state. Your adoption professional will be able to give you a range of what to be prepared for when you first begin your adoption journey. When you are selected by a Birth Mother, your adoption professional will then be able to break down your Birth Mother’s expenses in more detail.