Living Expenses and Adoption

By Megan S. Monsour, Family Building Attorney

In most states, an expectant mother can receive some form of financial assistance during her pregnancy as a part of her adoption plan.  Meaning, once an expectant mother has identified an adoptive family and made an adoption plan, the prospective adoptive family can legally pay for her needs during the pregnancy. Kansas law specifically states, “reasonable living expenses of the mother which are incurred during or as a result of the pregnancy” are approved costs allowable for the prospective adoptive couple to provide.

Reasonable living expenses can include the following:

  •         Rent, other housing costs
  •         Utilities
  •         Food
  •         Transportation costs
  •         Cell phone
  •         Prenatal and delivery medical care



Living expenses must be reasonable and must be approved by the Court finalizing the adoption. Adoption professionals will work to pay third-party providers in order to ensure the use of the funds and also to keep the best record of the costs. Specifically, a utility bill will be paid directly online or a check for rent will be mailed directly to the landlord. Expenses to be paid are based on the actual needs of the expectant mother.

A budget should be determined once the expectant mother matches with the adoptive couple so that the parties understand what needs are present to ensure the expectant mother’s stability for herself and the unborn child. The expectant mother will meet with the adoption professionals to provide the details of her current living situation and her typical monthly expenses. Typically, expenses are paid from the time the match is made with the adoptive couple to 4-6 weeks after the child is born.

Receiving living expenses during the pregnancy does not obligate a woman to place her child with the adoptive couple. Thus, living expenses paid by the adoptive family are at risk. The financial commitment by the potential adoptive family is just one reason it is vital that all parties pursuing adoption are open and honest about their intentions.

Some states have set caps and certain limitations on funds that may be provided to an expectant mother for her needs during her pregnancy. Appropriate financial assistance should always be analyzed in the state where the expectant mother lives and also in the state where the adoption will be filed if not where she is living.

It is important for expectant mothers to understand that accepting funds from two different adoptive families or agencies is not allowed under Kansas law.

Funds for living expenses are not in any way payment for her choice to place her child with an adoptive couple, which would be illegal. Kansas law allows living expenses to be paid very clearly as the intent is to ensure the needs of the expectant mother are met and she remains safe and healthy during the pregnancy.