Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Texas

Date: May 2022

Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Penal Code § 25.08(b)

The following payments are permitted:

  • Fees paid to an attorney, social worker, mental health professional, or physician for services rendered in the usual course of legal or medical practice or in providing adoption counseling
  • Reimbursement of legal or medical expenses incurred by a person for the benefit of the child
  • Necessary pregnancy-related expenses paid by a child-placing agency for the benefit of the child's parent during the pregnancy or after the birth of the child as permitted by the minimum standards for child-placing agencies and Department of Protective and Regulatory Services rules

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Family Code § 162.025

A person who is not the natural or adoptive parent of the child, the legal guardian of the child, or a licensed child-placing agency commits an offense if the person engages in the following:

  • Serves as an intermediary between a prospective adoptive parent and an expectant parent or parent of a minor child to identify the parties to each other
  • Places a child for adoption

It is not an offense if a professional provides legal or medical services to the following:

  • A parent who identifies the prospective adoptive parent and places the child for adoption without the assistance of the professional
  • A prospective adoptive parent who identifies a parent and receives placement of a child for adoption without the assistance of the professional

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Penal Code § 25.08(a)

A person commits an offense if they engage in the following:

  • Possesses a child younger than age 18 or has the custody, conservatorship, or guardianship of a child younger than age 18, whether they have actual possession of the child, and they offer to accept, agree to accept, or accept a thing of value for the delivery of the child to another or for the possession of the child by another for purposes of adoption
  • Offer to give, agree to give, or give a thing of value to another for acquiring or maintaining the possession of a child for the purpose of adoption

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Penal Code § 25.08

A licensed child-placing agency may charge a fee for services provided.

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.