Can You Get Paid to Give a Baby Up for Adoption in Iowa?

For women facing unexpected pregnancy, placing a child in an adoptive home is a viable option. However, it can lead expectant mothers to wonder, “Can I get paid for adoption in Iowa?”

Before we answer that, we want you to know two things:

Now, back to the original question: “Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa?” The answer is always no. Compensation for adoption is prohibited under any circumstances. However, you may get financial assistance for adoption in Iowa. The topic can be confusing, and we get that. But adoption professionals can help you sort fact from fiction if you’re wondering, “Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa?”  

If you’re not already working with an adoption agency, you can complete our online form to connect with one today. And for now, keep reading this guide for answers to the question, “Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa?”

1.   Will you have to pay to put your baby up for adoption?

No, you won’t have to pay any fees to place a child for adoption in Iowa. Adoption is free for expectant birth moms. Pregnancy and delivery costs can be high when you factor in expenses like pre-natal healthcare and hospital stays. Expecting birth mothers to cover the costs of the adoption process would be unethical and burdensome.

2. Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa?

Though many believe expectant birth mothers “get paid” for adoption, that’s simply not the case. That misconception likely stems from the fact that birth mothers sometimes receive legal financial assistance from hopeful adoptive parents when placing a child for adoption. That’s not considered compensation, though. Adoption for compensation is illegal everywhere in the U.S.

Proposing or accepting compensation for adoption is against the law and can lead to criminal prosecution. If birth parents are given or offered anything of value in return for placing their child up for adoption, that’s considered human trafficking, which is illegal.

Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa? No, but financial assistance for adoption expenses is completely legal. Financial assistance from potential adoptive families can be used to pay many costs of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

3. Can you get paid to give a baby up for adoption in Iowa by a licensed adoption agency?

If you’re wondering, “Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa by your adoption agency?” you should know it doesn’t matter where the improper compensation originates. It’s still illegal to offer or provide birth parents with anything of value in exchange for placing a child for adoption. It doesn’t matter if payments come from adoptive parents, adoption agencies, or other representatives of hopeful adoptive families.

You should be wary of any agency or individual offering illegal compensation for adoption. Payment of any kind for placing a baby up for adoption will result in prosecution for human trafficking. Be sure to avoid any person or agency offering illegal compensation.

Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa by an adoption agency? You can’t get paid for adoption, but your agency will play a role in helping you get the help you need with pregnancy-related expenses through legal adoption financial assistance. Birth mother expenses incurred before, during, and right after pregnancy and birth can be covered by hopeful adoptive families or through adoption agencies.

4. What kinds of expenses are considered for birth mother adoption financial assistance?

Unexpected pregnancy can create financial havoc for many expectant birth moms because pregnancy and delivery are both expensive, and you weren’t planning on those costs. Pregnancy expenses (such as groceries, medical care, and lifestyle costs) can be overwhelming. Coupled with a reduced ability to work during pregnancy, it can really put a strain on your finances.  

Though the answer to the question, “Can you get paid for adoption in Iowa?” is no, there is financial assistance that can help you with pregnancy-related expenses when done in compliance with the law. That financial assistance can be used to pay pregnancy-related costs like living expenses and healthcare costs.

Some of the expenses that ate considered for birth mother financial assistance in Iowa include:

  • Adoption expenses: As a birth mother, you have a right to receive resources and support provided by an adoption agency. Potential adoptive families can legally pay those costs for you.
  • Living expenses: Your cost of living may increase during pregnancy, so those additional expenses related to birth mother housing, food, and utilities can be covered by prospective adoptive parents.                               
  • Medical expenses: Prenatal and postnatal healthcare is expensive, but Iowa state law allows potential adoptive families to assist with the cost of birth mother and baby medical care and hospital fees.
  • Legal expenses: Adoption legal fees can be costly, which can create a burden on expectant birth mothers. In Iowa, hopeful adoptive parents can legally pay those costs on behalf of expectant birth moms.

You may be wondering if you can still get adoption financial assistance late in your pregnancy or after your child has been born when you choose adoption. Financial help may still be an option for you. If you’re wondering, “Can I get paid for adoption in Iowa?” in either of those situations, talk to a professional because each adoption scenario is different.

5. What state laws regulate adoption financial assistance payments?

Birth mother expenses are directly addressed by Iowa state law. Payment of birth mother expenses such as temporary housing, medical costs, and other living expenses deemed reasonable by the court is legal.

Some states limit the amount of adoption financial assistance, and Iowa is one of them. The maximum limit on the amount of assistance that can legally be provided to birth mothers in the state is $2,000.

The laws about adoption financial assistance vary from state to state, which further complicates an already complex topic. You can discuss birth mother expense payments with a licensed adoption professional to make sure you are abiding by the law. Though the answer to “Can I get paid for adoption in Iowa?” is no, you can get legal assistance available from hopeful adoptive parents who wish to help.

6. Who decides how much adoption financial assistance can be provided?

Can you get paid to give a baby up for adoption in Iowa? No, you cannot get paid for choosing adoption. But you can get up to $2,000 of adoption financial assistance in Iowa if the payments are recorded in a document provided to the family court prior to finalization.

In addition to the limitations on assistance enumerated in Iowa law, there are other factors that can influence the amount of adoption financial assistance you may receive, like:  

  • Your pre-pregnancy standard of living
  • The standard of living necessary to ensure the health and safety of you and your baby
  • Sources of additional financial assistance
  • The adoption budget of the potential adoptive family

7. Where do you get additional information on adoption financial assistance in Iowa?

If you’re still wondering, “Can I get paid for adoption in Iowa?” it’s time to discuss your situation with a professional. Your adoption agency will provide all the information you need to understand the laws surrounding adoption financial assistance in Iowa. You can talk to a professional today by completing our online form.

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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