Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Montana
Birth Parent Expenses Allowed
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 42-7-101(1); 42-7-102(1), (2)
The adoptive parent may provide payment for the following services for the birth parent:
- Medical care or services, including cost-sharing amounts for medically necessary prenatal and postnatal outpatient mental health services
- Prenatal care
- Counseling related to providing information necessary to make an informed decision to voluntarily relinquish a child
- Travel or temporary living costs for the birth mother
- Legal fees incurred for services on behalf of the parent placing the child
- The reasonable costs incurred by a placing parent in a direct parental placement adoption to document the disclosures of medical and social history required by § 42-3-101
- Other reasonable costs related to adoption
A prospective adoptive parent may pay counseling expenses a combined maximum of 10 hours of adoptive decision support services, provided pursuant to § 42-2-409, and postadoptive counseling provided pursuant to § 42-4-211.
A prospective adoptive parent may pay cost-sharing expenses for prenatal or postnatal outpatient mental health services provided to the birth mother. These expenses are limited to a total of 15 outpatient mental health counseling sessions during the prenatal period and the 5 years following the birth of the child.
A prospective adoptive parent may pay for legal costs entailed for providing legal counsel for one birth parent unless the birth parents elect joint representation. The right of a relinquishing parent to legal counsel paid for by the prospective adoptive parent continues only until the relinquishment becomes irrevocable. An attorney may not represent both a birth parent and a prospective adoptive parent.
Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-7-101(1)(k)
Costs related to adoption do not include education, vehicles, salary or wages, vacations, or permanent housing for the birth parent.
Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-7-105(3)
A person who, as a condition for placement, relinquishment, or consent to the adoption of a child, knowingly offers, gives, agrees to give, solicits, accepts, or agrees to accept from another person, either directly or indirectly, anything other than the fees allowed under § 42-7-101 commits the offense of paying or charging excessive adoption process fees.
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 42-7-101(2); 42-7-105(4)
The payment of expenses may not be made contingent on the placement of a child for adoption or upon relinquishment of and consent to adoption of the child. If the adoption is not completed, a person who is authorized to make a specific payment is not liable for that payment unless the person has agreed in a signed writing with a birth parent or a provider of a service to make the payment regardless of the outcome of the proceeding for adoption.
It is illegal to require repayment or reimbursement of anything provided to a birth parent under § 42-7-101. All payments by the adoptive parent made on behalf of a birth parent pursuant to this section are considered a gift to the birth parent.
Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency
Citation: Ann. Code § 42-7-101(1)
Reasonable adoption fees may be paid by the adoptive parent for the actual cost of services. The cost of services must relate to the following:
- A petition for adoption
- Placement of a child
- Foster care
- A preplacement evaluation
Accounting of Expenses Required by Court
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 42-7-106; 42-5-101
The department may review and investigate compliance with this title and may maintain an action in court to compel compliance.
A disclosure of any disbursements made in connection with the adoption proceeding must be attached to or accompanying the adoption petition.