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On the topic of birthmom expenses

Do you think it is right to cover bmom expenses. I personally paid the state max which was $3,000 but a friend adopted from another state where there was no max and she was over $10k. Of the small fortune that I paid to adopt, the $3k was one piece that I gave up most willingly because the bmom couldnt work for her last month and at least a month afterwards and while I dont think she should profit, I dont think she should go broke because she placed either. Especially when the attny got close to $20k for not doing very much. I feel like had we not been able to pay the $3k we never would have been chosen. Our attny told us that most bmoms who walk into his office already know how much living expenses they are entitled to. Has anyone paid or received expenses and how much?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:02 AM on Jul. 21, 2009 in Adoption

This question is closed.
Answers (28)
  • With all due respect, havent most here placed many yrs ago. I dont think expenses were that common then but they are common now. I know at least 50 adoptive families and of those who were legally allowed, I think that possibly 90% paid expenses in some form?. Medical expenses are not as common but living expenses sure seem to be. Many states don't allow them at all and those are the couples who wait the longest it seems. I even know two families whose child was going directly into foster care if they didnt adopt and those families still had to pay expenses.

    I would say that maybe the expenses are being charged and not making it to the bmoms but I know first hand in my case that they were received because I had to explain that she was at the cap when she asked for more than the state max.

    Reform is w/out question what needs to happen. All states should have a clear waiting period for TPR and clearly defined expense

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:33 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • When I did my adoption over 5 years ago..

    I choose not to have my profile seen by birthmothers that had exspenses...

    Answer by Dannee at 10:07 AM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • I've thought a lot about this topic. I've adopted 3 children from foster care just recently but before that I considered private adoption. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers but I think there needs to be GREAT adoption reforms done in our country. I think there should be caps placed on adoption agency and attorney fees here in the USA. What's going on now is the equivalent to selling children, in my opinion. As for the birthmom, I think her medical expenses should be paid but only if she relinquishes. And I think there should be a reasonable "cap" on how much expenses she can claim. This is not a case of the birthmother going broke because she chose to relinquish. This is a case of a mother who is undergoing the expense of giving birth to her child. It's not the adoptive families baby till the baby is relinquished after birth. This would save her from any guilt if she changes her mind and the adoptive fam money

    Answer by MomP31 at 12:13 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • As a birthmom, I never got one penny. I refused the idea that someone pay for my "living expenses". I had a place to live. I did not need that kind of help. Sure it probably would have made things "easier" but the whole situation wasn't easy to begin with and I didn't feel right having someone pay for my rent etc. It makes me irratated when I read things that make it sound like the majority of potential birthmoms accept living expenses. It makes it sound like we all just walk into a lawyers or adoptions agency with dollar signs in our eyes.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:36 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • OP here: My attorney (who is nationally recognized and one the largest in the state without question) told me that he has never had a bmom turn down living expenses. In our case we were glad there was a state cap because the bmom needed more. It was a little unfair that she wasnt the only adult n the house and we paid 100% of the rent and utilities for her and her 2 roommates.

    Did you place recently because it seems like in 2009, every state that allows them has bmoms asking for the max.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:43 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • I also received nothing directly from the adoptive parents. Their fees with the adoption agency included an amount that went into a general pool for the purpose of covering medical expenses associated with the birth of my daughter. If I had chosen to parent, I would have taken on those expenses.

    I couldn't agree more with MomP31, reform is so needed in this area. It does a great disservice to both adoptive parents and birthmoms when things are all over the map. It bothers me when I hear that of the fees adoptive parents incur, the highest percentage seems to go to attorneys. The same paperwork is required in a private adoption vs. a state-involuntary relinquishment based adoption. If the paperwork is the same from the courts point of view to establish the adoption, why does it cost nothing when the adoption is from foster care and yet when it's private it costs so much?

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 1:48 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • I think sometimes it is wrongly perceived that aparents want to pay all of these expenses so they can try to "lock" the bmom in with some kind of guilt factor. The truth is, no one wants to spend money they dont have to. There are lots of agencies that do the pooling method but it is a gamble. I can pay $30,000 flat to an agency and no matter what expenses are incurred, that is all I pay. Or I can pay say $12,000 and then hope that the expenses dont total more than another $18,000 and hope the first bmom I pay expenses to doesnt back out and I lose that money. I "gambled" twice and the first adoption I was way over the $30k that I could have paid and the second time I "won or broke even" and the adoption was only about $27,000


    Answer by Anonymous at 2:01 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • I'm another bmom who didn't ask for or take any bmom expenses. At that time I still lived at home with my parents and was covered under their medical insurance.

    I agree 100% with a desperate need for reform. I think paying for any expenses for the bmom causes problems on both sides.

    Answer by bellacocco at 2:16 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • Not only did I NOT take living expenses I was on medicaid so the parents didnt pay any medical expenses either! I was told by the agency to go get on state medical since i had no insurance.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:29 PM on Jul. 21, 2009

  • Most of the birth moms I know never received any expenses, and I think that is how it should be. There is no reason to pay expenses, but many agencies and attorneys encourage it to help seal the deal and obligate the expectant mom. A few good agencies instead actually help expectant moms by getting them help in other ways such as government programs, etc. that they are legally entitled to receive with no strings. I wonder about your attorney's statement that most birth moms get expenses. Maybe the ones that come to him.....but I question whether most do. I believe it is totally wrong to pay expenses for birth moms....yes, I agree, too many potential problems on both sides. I neither asked for or took any expense money either.

    Answer by Southernroots at 2:33 PM on Jul. 21, 2009