Explaining Adoption Living Expenses
And How American Adoptions Regulates Them
If you’re considering adoption, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about adoption living expenses. Also called “birth mother expenses,” these 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.
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.
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 to adoption living expenses will lay out the facts you need to know when considering adoption.
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 fulltime 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.
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 request more free adoption information at any time.
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