Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Indiana

Date: May 2022

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 35-46-1-9(d)

Payment of the following expenses is permitted:

  • Reasonable attorney fees
  • Hospital and medical costs related to the birth mother's pregnancy, labor, and delivery
  • Reasonable expenses for psychological counseling for the birth mother
  • Travel expenses and maternity clothes
  • Living expenses, including housing, utilities, and phone service, during the second and third trimester of pregnancy
  • Reimbursement of not more than actual wages lost as a result of the inability of the adopted child's birth mother to work at her regular, existing employment due to a medical condition, excluding a psychological condition
  • Any additional living expenses, as approved by the court

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 35-46-1-9(d), (e)

Payments of expenses are subject to the following limitations:

  • Compensation for lost wages shall be offset by the living expenses paid and any unemployment compensation to which the mother is entitled.
  • Total expenses paid shall not exceed $4,000 unless approved by the court.
  • Payment of living expenses shall not extend beyond 6 weeks after the child's birth and may not exceed $1,000.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 35-46-1-9; 35-46-1-22

Reasonable charges and fees levied by a licensed child-placing agency or by the Department of Child Services are permitted, including the following:

  • Reasonable charges and fees for adoption services
  • Reasonable charges and fees for adoption services provided by an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana

The term 'adoption services' means at least one of the following services that is provided for compensation, an item of value, or reimbursement, either directly or indirectly, and provided either before or after the services are rendered:

  • Arranging for the placement of a child
  • Identifying a child for adoption
  • Matching adoptive parents with birth parents
  • Arranging or facilitating an adoption
  • Taking or acknowledging consents or surrenders for termination of parental rights for adoption purposes
  • Performing background studies on a child who is going to be adopted or adoptive parents

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 35-46-1-9(c)

Except for expenses allowed, it is unlawful to transfer or receive property for waiving parental rights or consenting to adoption. The expenses paid must not be offered as an inducement to proceed with the adoption.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 31-19-2-8

The petitioner for adoption must attach the following to the petition for adoption:

  • An adoption history fee of $20, payable to the State Department of Health
  • A putative father registry fee of $50, payable to the State Department of Health for the following:
    • Administering the putative father registry
    • Paying for blood or genetic testing in a paternity action in which an adoption is pending, in accordance with § 31-14-21-9.1

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 35-46-1-9(e)

All fees and expenses paid must be disclosed to the court supervising the adoption.