Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - District of Columbia

Date:

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Code of Municipal Regs. §§ 29-1608.2; 1608.3

A child-placing agency may charge an adoptive parent for the actual costs of the living expenses of the birth mother, including food, shelter, clothing, counseling by an independent mental health professional, medical expenses, and the costs of transportation to obtain medical or adoption-related services.

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Code of Municipal Regs. § 29-1608.12

A child-placing agency shall not solicit or accept money or any item of value or services from any client or any representative of the client on behalf of the child-placing agency beyond the established fees for services provided in connection with placing a child for adoption.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code § 4-1410; Code of Municipal Regs. § 29-1608.13

No child-placing agency authorized to perform services in connection with placing a child in a family home for adoption may make or receive any charge or compensation whatsoever for such services, except that a licensed child-placing agency that is organized and operated exclusively for religious or charitable purposes may be allowed to charge adoptive parents, within prescribed limits, for such services an amount not to exceed the average costs incurred.

In regulation: A child-placing agency shall not solicit or accept any donation of any type or form for any purpose from any prospective adoptive parent during the period that begins on the date that the prospective adoptive parent applies to the child-placing agency to adopt and ends on the date that the final decree of adoption is entered.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Code § 4-1410

A child-placing agency providing domestic or international adoption services may charge an adoptive parent reasonable fees, but no more than the actual cost, for the following:

  • Customary and reasonable legal expenses of the child-placing agency
  • Costs of locating an absent birth parent
  • Foster care expenses incurred by the child-placing agency for a period not to exceed 120 days of foster care
  • The living expenses of the birth mother, including food, shelter, and clothing
  • Transportation costs to obtain medical services or adoption-related services
  • Costs associated with any required court appearance related to the adoption, including food and lodging expenses
  • Expenses for adoption counseling or counseling for the birth parents by an independent mental health professional
  • The birth mother's legal, hospital, and medical expenses
  • Legal fees and costs in connection with contested adoption proceedings
  • Expenses incurred by the child-placing agency in connection with an adoption dissolution and alternative placement of a child
  • Expenses incurred by the child-placing agency in obtaining the documents required to complete the home study assessment

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Code of Municipal Regs. § 29-1608.15

At the time that the child-placing agency prepares the report and recommendation to the court to approve or disapprove the adoption, the child-placing agency shall require the prospective adoptive parent to execute an affidavit that sets forth each fee and expense of $500 or more paid to any individual or organization by the prospective parent for any one service or combination of services, including the amount, purpose of payment, and name and address of the recipient of the payment.