Only certain payments are allowed in connection with an adoption. Amounts paid must be reasonable when compared with the expenses customarily incurred in an adoption. Adoptive parents are required disclose to the court any payment made or agreed to be made in connection with their adoption.
All expenses must be reasonable in amount and be for the actual fees and expenses incurred. Expenses may include:
- Services of an agency for placement
- Services of an agency for
- Home study
- Postplacement visits
- Report to the court
- Medical, hospital, nursing, pharmaceutical, or traveling expenses of birth mother or child
- Counseling services for birth mother.
- Legal services, court costs, administrative expenses, and traveling expenses, including paternity testing
- Ordinary living expenses of the mother during the pregnancy and up to six weeks after birth
Payments Not Allowed
It is unlawful to pay or give anything of value, directly or indirectly, for:
- The placement of a child for adoption
- The consent of a parent to the adoption of a child
- The relinquishment of a child to an agency for purposes of adoption
- Assisting a birth parent in locating an adoptive parent
- Assisting a birth parent in transferring custody of a child
The court may deny or order reimbursement of any payment that violates law or is unreasonable when compared with the expenses customarily incurred in connection with an adoption.
If the Court finds a violation, but determines that otherwise the adoption was proper and that the adoption will serve the best interest of the adoptee, the court may grant the adoption. The court may also impose the sanctions for improper payments or report the violations to the appropriate legal authorities.
Facilitation is making the match between adoptive parent and birth parent or making the placement.
North Carolina prohibits paid facilitation by individuals and unlicensed entities. Only a licensed child placement agency or the Department of Social Services may be paid for making the match and placement.
Other states allow paid facilitation. Facilitators can provide a valuable service. A large part of that service is advertising. Facilitation is different from a match through an agency. Facilitators are generally not licensed and not regulated by the state. When considering a facilitator, it is important to understand which services are provided and which services are not. If you are considering utilizing the services of a facilitator, contact us to discuss these issues.
If you pay a facilitator, it is important to know whether those expenses will be approved by the court where your adoption will be finalized.
Adoptive parents with an approved home study are permitted to advertise their desire to adopt a baby. Many prospective adoptive parents choose independent advertising as the option to seek a match. Others use advertising to supplement other methods of seeking a match.
To advertise you must have a current completed home study finding that you are suitable to be an adoptive parent. The advertisement may be published in a periodical, newspaper or on radio, television, cable television, or the Internet.
The advertisement must state that:
- you have a completed home study finding that person suitable to be an adoptive parent
- identify the name of the agency that completed the home study
- identify the date the home study was completed.
You may state whether you are willing to provide expense payments for the birth mother.
If you have questions about adoption expenses, advertising, or facilitation, call us for a consultation. We can help you tailor a plan to meet your needs.