What expenses can be legally paid by the adopting parents?
Illinois law allows adopting parents to pay their own legal fees, agency fees and medical expenses of the birth mother without prior approval of the Court. Adopting parents must first obtain the Court’s approval in order to legally pay for a birth parent’s living expenses (food, clothing and shelter during the pregnancy for the period beginning 120 days prior to the expected due date and up to 60 days after the child’s birth only) or attorney’s fees, for any amount exceeding $1000. Adopting Parents may also give a gift to birth parents as long as the gift’s value does not exceed $200. Except for these specific types of payments or for payments to, or by, licensed child welfare agencies, it is a felony to pay, or receive, compensation for the placement of a child. An illegal payment also might allow a birth parent to invalidate her consent, and force the adopting parents to return the child to the custody of the birth parent, the agency or the Department of Children and Family Services.