Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses - Vermont

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Birth Parent Expenses Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 7-103(a)

An adoptive parent, or a person acting on behalf of an adoptive parent, may pay the reasonable and actual fee or charge for the following:

  • Medical, hospital, nursing, pharmaceutical, or other similar expenses incurred by a mother or her minor child in connection with prenatal care or the birth or any illness of the minor
  • Counseling services for a parent or a minor for a reasonable time before and after the minor's placement for adoption
  • Living expenses of a birth mother for a reasonable time before and after the birth of her child
  • Expenses incurred in ascertaining the social and medical history of the child, as required by § 2-105 of this title
  • Any legal services performed for a parent who consents to the adoption of a minor or relinquishes the minor to an agency
  • Transportation for services provided
  • Any other service or expense the court finds reasonable and necessary

Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 7-103(a)(4)

Payments for living expenses may continue for no more than 6 weeks after the child's birth.

Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 7-105

Except as otherwise provided in §§ 7-103 and 7-104 of this title, a person may not pay, give, or offer to pay or give to any other person or request, receive, or accept any money or anything of value, directly or indirectly, for the following:

  • The placement of a minor for adoption
  • The consent of a parent, guardian, or agency to the adoption of a minor
  • The relinquishment of a minor to an agency for the purpose of adoption
  • The recruitment of a nonresident pregnant woman to locate in this State for the purpose of relinquishing a child for adoption

Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 7-103(b)-(c)

A birth parent or a provider of a service listed above may receive or accept a payment authorized by this section. The payment may not be made contingent on the placement of a minor for adoption, relinquishment of the minor, or consent to the adoption. 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 provider of a service to make the payment regardless of the outcome of the proceeding for adoption. If the adoption is not completed, an adoptive parent is liable only for agreed-upon expenses that are permitted under this section and were incurred prior to the termination of the adoption process.

Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 7-104

An agency may charge or accept a fee or other reasonable compensation from a prospective adoptive parent for expenses not paid by public assistance for the following:

  • Medical, hospital, nursing, pharmaceutical, or other similar expenses incurred by a mother or her minor child in connection with prenatal care, the birth, or any illness of the minor
  • A percentage of the annual cost the agency incurs in locating and providing counseling services for minor adopted persons, parents, and prospective parents
  • Living expenses of a mother for a reasonable time before the birth of a child and for no more than 6 weeks after the birth
  • Expenses incurred in obtaining the health and social history of the child
  • Legal services, court costs, or other administrative expenses connected with an adoption, including the legal services performed for a birth parent
  • Preparation of a preplacement evaluation and an evaluation during the proceeding for adoption
  • Transportation for services provided
  • Any other service or expense the court finds is reasonable and necessary

Accounting of Expenses Required by Court

Citation: Ann. Stat. Tit. 15A, § 3-702

The following should be completed at least 10 days before the hearing:

  • The petitioners shall file an accounting of any payment or disbursement made or agreed to be made.
  • The attorney for the petitioners shall file an affidavit itemizing any fees accepted for adoption-related services.
  • If an agency or guardian placed the child for adoption, the agency or guardian shall file an affidavit itemizing all fees and expenses paid.