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Explaining Adoption Living Expenses

And How American Adoptions Regulates Them

As potential adoptive parents, you get an opportunity to change the life of a child and birth mother, and fulfill your dream of raising a child. Our professionals at American Adoptions are happy to answer any questions you have about expenses. You can call 1-800-ADOPTION or click here to connect.

Becoming a parent comes with joys as well as responsibilities, so you are making brave decision. As a child comes into your life, you also have an opportunity to help a birth mother who is facing a difficult decision, and often a difficult period in her life.

Many states have created laws about how you can help with adoption living expenses to support birth mothers during their pregnancy and birth. American Adoptions can help you navigate the nuances of laws and negotiations as you step up, so that your family can focus on what is most important: preparing to welcome a new member of your family.

Here, we will also give you an overview of adoption living expenses and how American Adoptions can help you budget for any necessary birth mother expenses.

If you a prospective mother wanting more information about financial assistance for pregnancy-related living expenses you can complete our online form to connect with a professional today. They can provide you with helpful information about what financial assistance is available to you based on your state's adoption laws.

What are Adoption Living Expenses?

Adoption living expenses, also called “birth mother expenses,” are court-approved funds provided by the hopeful adoptive family that meet certain financial needs of the prospective birth mother during (and potentially shortly after) pregnancy.

Depending on her state’s adoption laws, a birth mother may be eligible for living expenses to help pay for items such as rent, utilities, transportation, food, maternity clothes, cell phone and more. While the birth mother expenses always come down to a case-by-case basis, this guide can give you a head start on understanding these expenses and how American Adoptions can help you budget for them.

Each state has different adoption laws, which means the type of adoption living expenses that a family incurs will depend on which state the prospective birth mother lives in. The cost of adoption living expenses will also depend on the specific needs and unique situation of the prospective birth mother.

When calculating the total cost of adoption, these expenses account for a portion of the total, as well as the need for flexibility due to the potential for change in living expenses.

Why Are Prospective Birth Mothers Entitled to Living Expenses?

Expectant mothers who choose adoption for their baby are making a brave decision. Until somewhat recently, the adoption process gave very little consideration to this brave choice and was a difficult process for prospective birth mothers. That is no longer the case in domestic infant adoption today. Prospective birth mothers are given respect and authority in the adoption process.

Part of this shift toward birth mothers in adoption has been the introduction of adoptive families providing for some of the prospective birth mother’s pregnancy-related needs during the adoption process. This is not a way of paying the birth mother for choosing adoption; rather, living expenses are a way of subsidizing her income and providing financial assistance during her pregnancy if she needs it.

Living expenses are an opportunity to be a supportive presence in the life of the prospective birth mother.

Choosing adoption is a difficult decision for a prospective birth mother, even when it is the best option available. The last thing she needs during the time is an undue financial burden on top of making this brave choice.

Pregnancy and childbirth can be expensive, and helping to cover these costs reduces a financial barrier that may prevent some women from choosing adoption. This leads to more potential adoption opportunities and a shorter adoption wait time.

These expenses can be different things in different cases.

For instance, many prospective birth mothers work full-time jobs but are not able to keep hours up as they continue further into their pregnancies. Their employer may not offer paid maternity leave, and the adoptive family can step in to help support the prospective birth mother during this time.

Other examples of living expenses could be co-pays for prenatal care or stable housing during the pregnancy. It all depends on the prospective birth mother’s specific needs and what is allowed under her state’s adoption laws.

If you're a prospective birth mother reading this, remember to fill out our free contact form to connect with a professional to learn more about help for your living expenses when choosing adoption.

How Does American Adoptions Handle Living Expenses?

American Adoptions operates with the best interests of both the hopeful adoptive family and prospective birth mother in mind. We believe that an adoption process done right is a process that respects and benefits everyone involved. As such, we handle living expenses in a way that works best for both parties.

In order to make sure that a prospective birth mother receives the support she needs and that the funds from an adoptive family are used properly, our adoption specialists oversee most or all of the living expenses being paid out.

For example, in most adoption situations:

  • Rent is paid directly to the landlord
  • Utilities are paid directly to the utility companies
  • Groceries are provided via reloadable gift cards

We have found that this structure is the most beneficial to everyone involved in the adoption. Birth mother expenses are highly regulated, not only by our staff but also by our adoption attorneys, making sure all funds are being spent appropriately and handled legally within the state’s laws. This results in a responsible, legal and ethical adoption process.

If you have more questions about living expenses, why birth mothers receive living expenses or American Adoptions’ Risk-Sharing Program that protects the financial investment of adoptive families, you can get more free adoption information at any time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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