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What Expenses Can An Adoptive Parent Pay for a Birth Parent?

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

By: Emilee B. Gehling and Kecia C. Van’t Hof

In many cases, the adoption process can begin before the baby is born. In these instances, it is natural for the adoptive parents to want to help the biological parents financially during the pregnancy and leading up to the birth. Adoptive parents may want to pay for the everyday necessities that a parent might need when going through the nine months of pregnancy. However, there are certain limitations on what an adoptive parent can and cannot pay for. This post is focused on Iowa law. Every state is different, so be sure to check out the law of the birth parents' state for specific limitations.

Adoptive parents can pay for most, if not all, medical expenses, so long as they are directly related to the pregnancy and/or birth of the child. These expenses can also be related to necessary post-partum medical care for the biological mother. Further, the adoptive parents can pay for transportation if it is related to medical care during the pregnancy or birthing period. For example, if the birth mother had to take an ambulance ride because of a medical emergency while pregnant, or she was in labor and had no other transportation, then this ride could be reimbursed by the adoptive parents.

Adoptive parents may also pay for living expenses which would include room and board, rent and food, and/or utilities. The adoptive parents may not reimburse for these living expenses after thirty (30) days from the birth of the child. Further, adoptive parents can reimburse no more than two thousand dollars ($2,000) for living expenses. This means that if the biological parents need rent money, but their rent is one thousand dollars ($1,000) a month, then the adoptive parents could only reimburse the biological parents for two months of rent, and nothing else (in relation to living expenses).

Another expense that adoptive parents may pay for are legal expenses. Legal expenses would include the fees acquired for the adoption procedures as well as the termination of parental rights. Adoptive parents typically pay for legal expenses because they want the best interests of the child and the biological parents to both be represented adequately. Representation of the biological parents also helps make the process smooth and efficient as well.

If you have any questions on what you can or cannot pay for as an adoptive parent, or if you would like to know anything else about the adoptive process, contact us today and we can provide further assistance.

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