Did you know that America World has a domestic adoption program? Since we began this in late 2012, we have placed five infants into permanent families! Though we've been geared towards international adoption for much of our existence, opening a domestic program gives us the opportunity to provide valuable services and minister to birthparents here in the US.
We provide free counseling to birthparents to help in the important decisions that need to be made regarding the baby. Whether someone is pregnant, or already had a baby and is not ready to be a parent, our counselors will help to talk through decisions. We'd like to answer some common questions about the adoption process for birthmothers through a series of blog posts.
Can adoptive parents pay expenses for pregnant women?
This is a common question asked by both pregnant women and adoptive parents. The answer to this question varies by the state where everyone lives since each state is different in their adoption laws. Expenses fall into three categories: living, legal, and medical. Most states allow adoptive parents to pay out of pocket medical expenses related to the delivery and birth. In some states, the adoptive parents’ insurance may cover the baby’s hospital expenses. In most states where a court process is required, any legal expenses for the birthparents may also be paid by the adoptive parents. The laws regarding payment of living expenses for the expectant mother vary greatly by state. Some states do not allow payment of any expenses for the expectant mother, but most regulate what can be paid and the amount.
Your adoption agency or adoption attorney is the best source of information for you about your specific situation. For the most part, expenses that are paid are not recoverable in a failed adoption. Even if there are legal means for adoptive parents to pursue, most birthparents do not have the ability to repay prospective adoptive parents. The best way for adoptive parents to protect themselves is to be certain that the expectant mother has an ongoing relationship with a professional counselor to help her in her decision making about plans for the baby, even if it is parenting, before the birth of the baby and follow up counseling after birth and adoptive placement. Check out our information for pregnant women and more frequently asked questions on our website.