Starting on October 1, 2013, Maryland adoption agencies will be permitted to facilitate assistance for certain birth mother expenses. The new law allows for reasonable expenses to be paid for transportation for medical care associated with the birth mother’s pregnancy or birth of her child. The law also permits birth mothers to receive financial assistance for reasonable food, clothing and shelter costs associated with the birth mother’s pregnancy or birth of her child. Also permitted will be reasonable expenses associated with any required court appearance relating to the adoption. Once paid, the expenses are not refundable to the adoptive family, even if the adoption plan fails.
To qualify for the payment of these expenses, the birth mother’s physician must submit a letter stating that the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself because of medical reasons associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child.
Birth mothers are looking forward to this change in the adoption law. Several times, birth mothers have been influenced to go to other states to try to get financial assistance. This is a violation of Maryland law and could cause problems for the birth mother. Now, Adoption Makes Family will be able to facilitate financial assistance when assistance is truly needed, and at the same time, protecting the legal rights of the birth mother.
Adoptive families have expressed both relief and concern about this change in the law. First, there is great relief that birth mothers who are in a financial crisis due to medical issues surrounding the pregnancy will be able to receive assistance. Adoptive families have expressed their concern about the birth mother and her well being. Adoptive families have wanted to assist birth mothers who are genuinely in a financial crisis. However, in the past, there were legal restrictions prohibiting adoptive families from providing assistance. Fortunately, those restrictions have been removed and Maryland adoption agencies will soon be able to facilitate this financial assistance.
Adoptive families are, as well, concerned about this change in the Maryland adoption law. There are numerous cases where birth parents have received assistance from hopeful adoptive parents. For whatever reason, the birth parents elected to abandoned the adoption plan and parent the child. In some cases, it has been learned that there was fraud involved and the birth parents never intended to carry out an adoption plan. In those fraudulent cases, adoptive families have worked with legal authorities to take legal action. In either case, this change in Maryland adoption law does bring with it an increased risk for the adoptive family in the adoption process.
Adoption Makes Family, a licensed Maryland adoption agency, will work to assist birth mothers in Maryland with the financial assistance as prescribed under the law should the need arise. We will work to screen potential financial crises with birth mothers who wish to create an adoption plan through Adoption Makes Family. It is our hope and goal to facilitate assistance only where assistance is truly needed and appropriate under the law.
A yahoo group called “Adoptionscams” has been developed and can be an aide to help adoptive families in their adoption journey. One issue often discussed is whether a particular birth parent has a history of financial scams.