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What Payments are Allowed in South Dakota Adoptions

By: Kecia C. Van’t Hof

In South Dakota, financial contributions in an adoption are determined on a case by case basis. Before we start, however, it is important to note that there may be no payment for placing a baby up for adoption. Any payments are not payments for a child, but rather reimbursements for expenses relating to the birth of the child and/or to help keep the parent on their feet until the birth of the child.

South Dakota will allow for an adoptive parent to reimburse birth parents for several things which encompass “living expenses”. Living expenses include the following:



Maternity clothing;


Phone service; and


Additionally, South Dakota adoption laws allow for adoptive parents to assist birth parents with expenses related to medical care, legal representation, and counseling services. Counseling services can be rendered before, during, and after pregnancy.

Some states will put a cap on the amount a biological parent may receive from an adoptive parent. In South Dakota, however, there is no limit, and the amount is dependent on the people involved and the situation at hand. Finally, South Dakota State Statute 25-6-4.2 states that birth parents are only allowed expenses if the charges are approved by the court. This means, that before an adoptive parent can pay a biological parent for living expenses, the court must approve it.

If you plan on adopting a child, either through a “typical” adoption process (a biological mother is the same as the birth mother) or through surrogacy (the birth mother is not the biological mother), make sure to get expenses approved through the court and stay up to date on what is allowed to be paid for and what is not.

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