Adoption in Pennsylvania

Financial Assistance for Adoption in Pennsylvania [A Guide]

Facing a pregnancy you didn’t expect? If so, maybe you’ve thought about adoption, but aren’t sure about the additional costs of carrying and delivering your baby.

You may have even asked questions such as, “Is putting a baby up for adoption free in Pennsylvania?” or “Do mothers get paid for adoption?”

First, there are a couple of things you should know if you’re asking these questions:

As you learn more about the topic of adoption financial assistance, you may find it complicated and confusing. It’s okay to ask additional questions about financial assistance for adoption, including:

As you read through this guide, remember that adoption is always free for the birth mother. You’ll never be asked to pay the costs associated with placing your child in a safe, stable adoptive home.

Also, you should know you’re probably eligible for financial assistance for adoption in Pennsylvania. We understand that an unexpected pregnancy gives rise to a long list of concerns, and financial issues may not be at the top of your list. However, learning more details about adoption financial assistance in Pennsylvania can help you devise your adoption plan.

Because of the complexity of the issue, it’s wise to find an adoption agency staffed with compassionate, experienced professionals who understand adoption financial assistance. To find adoption agencies in Pennsylvania, click here.

In the meantime, read the Q&A below if you want to learn about the expense of putting a child up for adoption in Pennsylvania.

1. In Pennsylvania, is giving a baby up for adoption free?

Birth mothers are never expected to pay a cost to give a baby up for adoption in Pennsylvania. It’s always free. If you’re facing unplanned pregnancy and considering adoption, you may have financial concerns about the cost of medical care and hospital delivery. Making birth mothers pay to place their baby for adoption would be excessive and unnecessary.

In Pennsylvania, most costs associated with pregnancy, labor, and delivery won’t be your responsibility as a birth mother considering adoption. State law allows prospective adoptive parents to pay the majority of those costs through financial assistance for adoption in Pennsylvania.

2. Can I get money for giving my baby up for adoption in Pennsylvania?

Since birth mothers often get financial assistance when putting their child up for adoption, there’s a common belief that you can “get paid” to give your baby up for adoption in Pennsylvania. That is a misconception, however. Federal law prohibits adoption for compensation to birth parents for choosing adoption.

Adoption for compensation is against state and federal laws, and it can lead to criminal prosecution. When money or anything else of value is presented to birth parents in exchange for placing a child for adoption, it’s considered human trafficking.

3. In Pennsylvania, can you get paid for adoption by adoption agencies?

It’s illegal to accept money for putting your baby up for adoption in Pennsylvania under any circumstances. The source of the payment doesn’t matter. The law prohibits compensation offered by adoptive parents,  adoption agencies, or representatives of a prospective adoptive family, including payments of money or anything else of value.

If someone tells you that you can get paid for adoption by adoption agencies, you should avoid working with them. Receiving compensation for putting a baby up for adoption is a serious offense, so be wary of any offers that seem questionable.

Remember: even though birth mothers can’t legally get paid for adoption in Pennsylvania, you can get most of your pregnancy related expenses paid legally through adoption financial assistance. There are adoption agencies that help with living expenses, and expenses incurred by the birth mother before, during, and immediately after the pregnancy and birth can be paid by adoptive families or adoption agencies.

4. Is there financial assistance for adoption in Pennsylvania for birth mothers?

We know that when you experience an unexpected pregnancy, it can seemingly throw your life into chaos. That uncertainty can include financial impacts stemming from the cost of medical care, diet and nutrition, and lifestyle changes. Even your ability to work may can be impacted while you’re pregnant, which will surely affect your income.

You can’t get paid to give your baby up for adoption in Pennsylvania, but you can get help with covering your pregnancy related expenses. Several kinds of adoption financial assistance in Pennsylvania for birth mothers are allowed under state law.

Legal adoption financial assistance is intended to compensate for the costs of carrying and delivering a baby and the costs associated with the process of adoption.

Any payment for birth mothers in Pennsylvania must be classified into one of the following categories:

The court has the leeway to decide if other expenses payments are warranted. In Pennsylvania, some birth parents can have their living expenses can be paid in most cases by the adoptive family. These expenses can include birthmother housing, food, utilities, transportation, and other expenses that the court deems necessary.

State law in Pennsylvania also requires that any expenses paid by prospective adoptive parents must be paid through an intermediary or third party between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. The intermediary must also provide an itemized accounting of all expense payments received through the course of the adoption. That’s why it is so important to work with an adoption agency — they will take care of all the legal requirements.

5. Are there laws that pertain to payment of expenses to birth mothers?

Pennsylvania law allows payment of birth mother expenses and defines the terms under which such payments are allowed. Though there are birth mother expenses such as medical care and birthmother housing costs that can be paid legally, it’s wise to seek professional advice and the permission of the court before accepting any payments. 

Because the law around adoption financial assistance in Pennsylvania is complex, it’s wise wo work with a licensed adoption professional to make sure assistance payments comply with the law. Even though giving your baby up for adoption for money in Pennsylvania isn’t allowed, you can legally get the assistance you need from potential adoptive parents who want to help.

6. Who determines how much adoption financial assistance is provided?

Pennsylvania doesn’t place a ceiling on birth parent expenses in state adoption laws. However, the law does state that the family courts “may provide appropriate relief when it finds the expenses reported are excessive.”

Many factors can determine what kind of and how much adoption financial assistance you may receive, such as:

Again, payments must be made through an intermediary, and an itemized document must also be filed with court prior to adoption finalization that details all expenses submitted and paid during the pregnancy.

In addition to Pennsylvania’s laws on adoption financial assistance, the financial resources of prospective adoptive families can factor into the equation. Potential adoptive families usually have an adoption budget when beginning the process, so expenses will have to fit within that budget.

7. Are there birth mother expenses that cannot be paid by prospective adoptive parents?

The state laws addressing financial assistance for adoption in Pennsylvania are clear when it comes to what expenses are reasonable and allowable. Some birth mothers may be eligible to receive other adoption financial assistance allowed by the court.

Though some expenses can be paid through adoption financial assistance, some payments may be considered illegal compensation for placing a baby for adoption. That’s why it’s wise to speak to your adoption professional to find out more about adoption financial assistance in your situation.

8. Where do I get more information about adoption financial assistance in Pennsylvania?

To learn more about legal adoption financial assistance and how you can get financial help, speak with an adoption professional today.

A licensed adoption agency in Pennsylvania can help you navigate the laws surrounding financial assistance for adoption. You can find an adoption agency that specializes in supporting birth mothers at this link.

Ready to get started? Contact an adoption agency now to get free information.

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