Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - New Jersey

Date: May 2022

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-39.1

The adoptive parent is permitted to provide payment for the following expenses:

  • Medical, hospital, counseling, or other similar expenses incurred in connection with the birth or any illness of the child
  • The reasonable living expenses of the mother of the child during her pregnancy, including payments for reasonable food; clothing; medical expenses; shelter; and religious, psychological, vocational, or similar counseling services
  • If the child is from a foreign country, reasonable and customary fees and expenses of a foreign agency or attorney for the care or representation of the child during any period of foster or institutional care in the child's country of origin
  • Reasonable attorney fees and costs for legal services

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-39.1(e)

Payments for expenses cannot extend beyond 4 weeks after the termination of the pregnancy, by birth or otherwise.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-39.1(a)

Only an approved agency or authorized person may offer to place or materially assist in the placement of a child for adoption.

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-39.1(c), (d)

Written notice shall be given to the birth parent and the adoptive parent that the decision not to place the child for adoption or the return of the child to the birth parent cannot be conditioned upon reimbursement of expenses by the birth parent to the adoptive parent, and that payments by the adoptive parent are nonrefundable.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 9:3-48; 9:3-53

In a nonagency adoption, all expenses and fees for the investigation and any counseling provided shall be the responsibility of the adopting parent.

The costs of all proceedings pursuant to § 9:3-37, et seq., shall be borne by the plaintiff, including the costs incurred by an approved agency acting pursuant to an order of the court, except that the approved agency may waive part or all of the costs.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 9:3-55

A prospective parent shall file a detailed report that shall be signed and verified by each prospective parent. The report shall disclose all sums of money or other valuable consideration paid, given, or agreed to be given to any person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or agency in connection with the adoption and the names and addresses of each person, firm, partnership, corporation, association, or agency to whom the consideration was given or promised. The report shall include, but not be limited, to expenses incurred or to be incurred by or on behalf of a prospective parent in connection with the following:

  • The birth of the child
  • The placement for adoption of the child with the prospective parent
  • Medical or hospital care received by the mother or the child during the mother's prenatal and postnatal period
  • Services relating to the adoption or to the placement for adoption, including legal services