Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Iowa

Date: May 2022

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.9(2)

Only expenses incurred in connection with the following and any other expenses approved by the juvenile court or court are allowable:

  • The birth of the child to be adopted
  • Placement of the child by the adoption service provider
  • Legal expenses related to the termination of parental rights and adoption processes
  • Pregnancy-related medical care received by the birth parents or the child during the pregnancy or delivery of the child and for medically necessary postpartum care for the birth parent and the child
  • Ordinary and necessary living expenses of the mother, including, but not limited to, the costs of housing, food, utilities, and transportation for medical purposes related to the pregnancy and birth of the child
  • Costs of the counseling provided to the birth parents prior to the birth of the child and prior to the release of custody
  • Living expenses or care of the child during the pendency of the termination of parental rights proceedings

All payments for allowable expenses shall be made to the provider, if applicable, and not directly to the birth parents.

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.9(2)

Payment of the birth mother's living expenses shall not exceed $2,000 and shall not continue for longer than 30 days after the birth of the child. Any counseling provided to the birth parents shall not continue for more than 60 days after the birth of the child.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.9(1)(b)

Any person assisting in the placement or adoption of a child shall not charge a fee that is more than usual, necessary, and commensurate with the services rendered.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.9(1)(a)

A birth parent shall not receive anything of value because of the parent€™s child or former child being placed with and adopted by another person unless that thing of value is an allowable expense under this section.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.8(6)

Any person conducting the adoption investigation may charge a fee that does not exceed the reasonable cost of the services rendered and is based on a sliding scale relating to the investigated person's ability to pay.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.9(2)

An adoption petitioner shall file with the court, prior to the adoption hearing, a full accounting of all disbursements of anything of value paid or agreed to be paid by or on behalf of the petitioner in connection with the petitioned adoption. This accounting shall be made by a report prescribed by the juvenile court or court and shall be signed and verified by the petitioner. The report shall be accompanied by documentation of all disbursements made prior to the date of filing of the report.