Do Birth Mothers “Get Paid” For Adoption?

What You Need to Know About Birth Mother Expenses

“Do mothers get paid for adoption?” “Can you get paid for adoption?” “Can I get money for giving my baby up for adoption?” “Can I receive money for choosing adoption?”

These are common questions from women considering adoption, but the simple answer to all of them is “no.” Birth mothers do not get paid for choosing adoption. In fact, it is illegal to trade a child for money. However, expenses incurred during the pregnancy and throughout the adoption process may be paid for by adoptive parents. Instead of receiving financial compensation for giving baby up for adoption, a birth mother can receive expense assistance for choosing adoption.

How Much Does It Cost to Give a Child Up for Adoption?

On the other side of the coin are questions like: “How much does it cost to give baby up for adoption?” “Does putting a child up for adoption cost money?” “Is putting a baby up for adoption free?” The simple answer: There is no financial cost for a mother to choose adoption. The adoptive parents will be responsible for the adoption expenses. The birth mother can receive financial assistance from adoptive parents as well. While money cannot be directly exchanged between an adoptive family and a birth mother, the adoptive family can pay for the expenses that occur when a woman has chosen adoption.

Is There Financial Assistance for Adoption?

Having a baby is expensive from the start. Any woman facing a pregnancy, whether planned or not, will be looking at changing eating habits, paying for medical expenses, obtaining material items for the baby, and other expenses. When a birth mother chooses adoption, there are legal expenses as well as support resources. An unplanned pregnancy not only brings the shock of a baby, but also a financial change in the form of greater expenses.

While allowable living expenses vary based on state laws, an adoptive family can usually pay for the additional expenses that a mother incurs when she chooses adoption. The following are some of the expenses that a birth mother may incur that an adoptive family can pay for:

  • Rent
    • A birth mother facing an unplanned pregnancy may have to change residences, or find that she is unable to financially afford to pay for her rent. In most states, the adoptive family can cover rent for the birth mother if she is unable to afford her living expense. There are also other expenses that may be paid for like utilities, having a cell phone, transportation, and more.
  • Food
    • Eating healthy is crucial throughout a pregnancy, and typically a woman who is pregnant will also be eating more of those healthy options. The adoptive family can typically pay for the food that the birth mother needs throughout her pregnancy to maintain the health of the unborn baby. A child who has already been born who is being placed for adoption may have their food expense covered as well throughout the adoption process.
  • Medical Expenses
    • Prenatal visits are crucial throughout the course of pregnancy. A pregnant woman may not only be doing routine visits, but may also face a higher risk pregnancy that requires extra care or prescription medication. Whatever the medical expenses throughout the pregnancy, an adoptive family can cover those expenses to ensure that the unborn baby and the mother get the care they need for their health. A child who has already been born will still need to keep up with medical care as well, which may also be covered by the adoptive family.
  • Legal Expenses
    • Legal fees are unavoidable when it comes to adoption. There are many different circumstances that may significantly raise these fees. The adoptive family will be responsible for these legal fees.
  • Support Resources
    • Beginning counseling or therapy after adoption has been chosen may be the best mental health route a birth mother can take. The sooner she begins the process of healing, the better off she will be in the long run. The adoptive family can pay for these services as well throughout the process of adoption and throughout a pregnancy.

Know Your State Laws Regarding Adoption Expenses

Keep in mind that every state has different laws outlining what expenses can be paid for or reimbursed to a birth mother from an adoptive family. The adoption professional a birth mother is working with, and her legal representation, will know in more detail what financial assistance options are available to a birth mother throughout pregnancy and the adoption process.

If the child has already been born and adoption is chosen after the fact, and the birth mother has already paid for pregnancy expenses, she will generally not be reimbursed. Financial assistance is only available during the adoption process. A pregnant woman who has chosen adoption will have different expenses that require assistance versus a woman who has already given birth and then chosen adoption.

Other Information Regarding Adoption Expenses

Child Welfare Information Gateway provides more information regarding what expenses are covered throughout adoption and which states allow for what expenses.

Consult with An Adoption Professional

Whatever your adoption situation is, consult with your adoption professional to understand what expenses the adoptive family can pay for to ease the financial burden of having a child when choosing adoption.

About the Author

Lindsay Arielle has been a proud birth mother since placing her son for adoption in 2011. Her post-placement agreement has always been an open adoption. She loves the time she gets to spend with her son and his parents during visits. Lindsay truly believes that for herself and her family, adoption has been a blessing, and she enjoys writing about spiritual healing for birth mothers.

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