The laws vary from state to state. In many states, however, the adoptive parents are only allowed to pay for medical expenses caused by the pregnancy and legal fees attached to the adoption. Some states do make room for reasonable living expenses and other pregnancy related costs, such as maternity clothes.
Of interest to expectant parents seeking to make the most informed decision: many states do allow for counseling expenses. While some agencies may want you to use their in-house counselor, do realize that you have a right to an unbiased, third-party counselor. It should also be stated, however, that many states also govern the length of time that post-placement counseling expenses can be covered by adoptive parents. The length of time can range from as little as thirty days to six weeks.
It is important to note that no states allow adoptive parents to pay for things like college tuition, vacations, past debts or any type of monetary exchange that might appear to be payment for the baby in question. Many states require adoptive parents to provide a detailed accounting of all monies spent before the adoption can be finalized in court.
Of note: One state, Idaho, makes a provision in the wording of their law that may require repayment of funds to potential adoptive families from parents who decided to parent their child.
To find out what your state laws say about receiving money from potential adoptive families, see State Regulation of Adoption Expenses. (You can choose your state at the bottom of that page for further clarification.)
Note: Our authors are dedicated to honest, engaged, informed, intelligent, and open conversation about adoption. The opinions expressed here may not reflect the views of Adoption.com.