Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Michigan

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Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(3), (5)

An adoptive parent may pay the reasonable and actual charge for all the following:

  • Medical, hospital, nursing, or pharmaceutical expenses incurred by the birth mother or the child to be adopted in connection with the birth or any illness of the child
  • Counseling services related to the adoption for the parent, guardian, or child, unless the parent or guardian waives the counseling
  • Living expenses of a mother before the birth of the child and for no more than 6 weeks after the birth
  • Expenses incurred in ascertaining the information required under this chapter about a child to be adopted and the child's birth family
  • Traveling expenses necessitated by the adoption

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(3)

The adoptive parent may not pay any of the following:

  • Medical expenses that are covered by the birth mother's insurance or Medicaid
  • Living expenses of the birth mother beyond 6 weeks after the birth of the child

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(1), (2)

Except for charges and fees approved by the court, a person shall not pay or give; offer to pay or give; or request, receive, or accept any money or other consideration or thing of value, directly or indirectly, in connection with any of the following:

  • The placing of a child for adoption
  • The registration, recording, or communication of the existence of a child available for adoption
  • A release or consent

Except for a child-placing agency's preparation of a preplacement assessment or investigation, a person shall not be compensated for the following activities:

  • Assisting a parent or guardian in evaluating a potential adoptive parent
  • Assisting a potential adoptive parent in evaluating a parent, guardian, or child to be adopted
  • Referring a prospective adoptive parent to a parent or guardian of a child for purposes of adoption
  • Referring a parent or guardian of a child to a prospective adoptive parent for purposes of adoption

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(6)

Any authorized payment of expenses shall not be made contingent on the placement of the child for adoption, release of the child, consent to the adoption, or cooperation in the completion of the adoption. If the adoption is not completed, an individual who has made payments of expenses may not recover them.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(3), (4)

An adoptive parent shall pay the reasonable and actual charge for the following:

  • The services of a child-placing agency in connection with an adoption
  • The preparation of the preplacement assessment and any additional needed investigation
  • Legal fees charged for consultation and legal advice, preparation of papers, and representation in connection with an adoption proceeding, including legal services performed for a birth parent or guardian and necessary court costs in an adoption proceeding

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Comp. Laws § 710.54(7), (10)

At least 7 days before formal placement of a child, the following documents shall be filed with the court:

  • A verified accounting signed by the petitioner itemizing all payments or disbursements of money or anything of value made or agreed to be made by or on behalf of the petitioner in connection with the adoption
  • A verified statement of the attorney for each petitioner itemizing the services performed and any fee, compensation, or other thing of value received by or agreed to be paid to the attorney
  • A verified statement of the attorney for each parent of the adopted person itemizing the services performed and any fee, compensation, or other thing of value received by or agreed to be paid to the attorney
  • A verified statement of the child-placing agency or the department itemizing the services performed and any fee, compensation, or other thing of value received by or agreed to be paid to the child-placing agency or the department

The court shall approve or disapprove all fees and expenses. Acceptance or retention of amounts that exceed those approved by the court constitutes a violation of this section.