Adoption comes from the heart, but the adoption process comes from the Law.
You should follow your heart, but be sure you also follow the law.
– Irina O’Rear
Adoption is a life-altering decision and it involves all your emotions. As prospective parents, you will be eager to bring your baby home at the earliest. While there is nothing wrong in wanting to do so, you must be aware that the adoption process is governed by certain laws to protect the interests of the child as well as the adults who are involved in the adoption process. Your desire to adopt may be born from your heart, but you have to understand and conform to the state laws before you get a chance to bring your baby home.
The sad fact is that there are many individuals who will go to any extent to make a quick buck. There are instances of women who try to sell a baby (hers or someone else’s) for five or ten thousand dollars through ‘private adoptions’. It may be a quick way for you to save the hassles of going through an adoption agency, but it has very serious implications. While it is your money and you have every right to spend it the way you like, you have to respect the laws that have been placed to safeguard both prospective parents and children from such unscrupulous individuals.
In a nutshell, giving money in private to the birth mother without the knowledge of the adoption professional may cause you to be in violation of the law. Let’s take a look at why prospective couples part with their money behind the back of the adoption professional or agency:
- Money given to the birth mother to pay for her hospital visits and health checks at the doctor’s office
- Money given for any kind of counseling for the birth mother
- Money given out of compassion if she is in an impoverished state or with no one to take care of her
- Money given to help her out with her education or to better her future post-adoption
All of the above instances can be out of well-intentioned efforts on the part of prospective couples to be a blessing to the birth mother as she is giving up her own flesh and blood to make them parents. It can be a very emotionally-based decision to help the birth mother on the sly. But, the law views it as shady and improper. In fact, certain laws specifically forbid money being given to the birth mother for counseling. While it is not in our place to question the rationale of such laws, it is very much our responsibility to ensure our adoption process is completely legal. If you break the law, you have a very good chance of jeopardizing your adoption plan.
At all times be certain that any payment you make is legal and aboveboard. If you have any doubt, please consult your adoption professional before making a decision that could land you in trouble.