Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Maryland

Date: May 2022

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-3A-45; 5-3B-32

In both agency and independent adoptions, the following payments are permitted:

  • A customary and reasonable charge or fee for adoption counseling, hospital, legal, or medical services
  • Reasonable expenses for transportation for medical care associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child
  • Reasonable expenses for food, clothing, and shelter for a birth mother if, on written advice of a physician, the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself because of medical reasons associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child
  • Reasonable expenses associated with any required court appearance relating to the adoption, including transportation, food, and lodging expenses

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Fam. Law §§ 5-3A-45; 5-3B-32

Except as otherwise provided by law, a person may not charge or receive from or for a parent or prospective adoptive parent any compensation for a service in connection with the following:

  • Placement of an individual to live with a preadoptive parent
  • An agreement for custody in contemplation of adoption

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Crim. Law § 3-603(a)

A person may not sell, barter, or trade or offer to sell, barter, or trade a minor for money, property, or anything else of value.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-3A-45

In an agency adoption, the agency may accept reasonable reimbursement for costs of an adoptive service in connection with adoption if the following applies:

  • The reimbursement is in accordance with standards set by regulation of the Social Services Administration.
  • The ability to provide this reimbursement does not affect the acceptability of any individual for adoptive services or the choice of the most suitable prospective adoptive parent.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Fam. Law § 5-3B-24

In an independent adoption, a court may not enter an order under this subtitle until the petitioner files with the court an accounting of all payments and disbursements of any item of value made by or for the petitioner in connection with the adoption.