A: According to Jim Thompson, an adoption attorney in South Carolina, like most adoption law questions, the answer depends on state law. Many states allow prospective adoptive parents to pay reasonable living expenses and pregnancy related costs on behalf of birth parents. Some states are very specific about the type of expense that is allowable and the total expenses that may be paid. Generally, these payments should be paid through the attorney or agency handling the adoption and should not be paid directly to the birth parent, but should be paid instead to the provider of the service. Another word of caution: when a birth parent and a prospective adopting parent live in different states, one must be mindful of both state laws when it comes to living expenses. One should never make the first payment for living expenses until both state laws are evaluated by an experienced adoption professional.
For more information on this topic, listen to the Creating a Family radio show: “Using an Adoption Consultant, Facilitator or Attorney.“Image credit: Muus Creation