Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Minnesota

Date: May 2022

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.55, Subd. 1

A prospective adoptive parent or anyone acting on behalf of a prospective adoptive parent may pay only the following expenses of the birth parent:

  • Reasonable counseling, medical, and legal fees, which shall be paid directly to the provider of the service
  • Reasonable expenses for transportation, meals, and lodging incurred for placement of the child or to access permitted services
  • Adoption services provided by an agency at the request of the birth parent that shall be paid directly to the agency
  • Reasonable living expenses of the birth mother that are needed to maintain an adequate standard of living that the birth mother is unable to otherwise maintain because of loss of income or other support resulting from the pregnancy

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.55, Subd. 1

Payments for living expenses shall not extend beyond 6 weeks after delivery, unless the court determines that the mother is unable to work due to physical limitations relating to the birth. 'Reasonable living expenses' does not include lost wages, gifts, educational expenses, or other similar expenses of the birth mother.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.55, Subd. 3(b)

A person may not give money or anything of value to the birth parent if the person is engaged or has engaged in any placement activity.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.55

A contract purporting to require a birth parent to reimburse a prospective adoptive parent for expense payments under any circumstances, including circumstances in which a birth parent refuses to consent to adoption or withdraws consent to adoption, is void as against public policy.

Except as authorized above, it is unlawful for an individual to give or for a birth parent to accept money, anything of value, or compensation for the placement of a child for adoption.

Payment shall not be contingent upon placement, consent, or cooperation in the completion of an adoption.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 317A.907, Subd. 6

A licensed agency may receive payment for the following expenses related to adoption services in an amount that fairly reflects the agency's reasonable and necessary expenses:

  • Adoptive counseling, regardless of whether legal adoption is completed
  • Provision of services to children before adoptive placement
  • Supervision of children in the home until legal adoption is completed
  • Expenses of a birth parent authorized under § 259.55 if they are paid to the agency to forward to the birth parent

Only the part of the expenses that the person seeking to adopt is financially able to meet may be requested. No person may be barred from receiving a child for adoption because of inability to pay part of the expenses referred to in this subdivision.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.53, Subd. 6

Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, an agency shall file with the court a statement of expenses that have been paid or are required to be paid by the prospective adoptive parent in connection with the adoption. In a direct adoptive placement, the statement of expenses shall be filed by the prospective adoptive parent.