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  #1  
Old 03-17-2013, 10:58 AM
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Theresa.Alaska Theresa.Alaska is offline
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Unhappy Birth mom expenses

What do you consider "reasonable" Bmom expenses??

We are working with a wonderful agency who has been trying to get in touch with our Bmom for about a week to discuss any expenses she may have. When they finally spoke with her, she requested we pay her $2100/month rent for the last four months of her pregnancy because she might not be able to work as much. We - along with the agency - were shocked! When we were matched she mentioned to our rep she wanted some medical co-play's covered (we planned on paying them anyway) and possibly some help because she was moving after the adoption was finalized (we never discussed this).

After speaking with our agency, our attorney, local child services, our home study writer, other adoptive couples and Catholic Social Services, everyone agrees this is either too much money, high risk or just outright ridiculous to ask. While we live in a state with a high cost of living, the amount requested is more than my mortgage, camper payment and one car payment, and exceeds most couples total monthly expenses! Also, our state legislature makes no provisions for paying living expenses, only medical, legal and reasonable services all directly related to the pregnancy or birth.

Sadly, we have not heard from her since we had to tell her no, nor will she get in contact with us to discuss what we are willing to pay. If she doesn't get the money from us I don't know what the likelihood is she will get it from anyone else. And even if she found someone who was willing to pay that, law does not allow it. When the baby is born, she still will need help with the rent assuming she does not move like she is planning. If she wasn't pregnant, she still needs the money. None of it makes sense to us...

Any thought, advice, or your experience is greatly appreciated!!
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  #2  
Old 03-17-2013, 01:04 PM
eagleswings216 eagleswings216 is offline
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That would have been a deal breaker for us - that's almost 9K additional, and that's just for rent. That seems excessive to me, especially since she "might" not be able to work - it sounds like she's not on bed rest or anything, right?

That also just seems like a lot for rent, but we live in an area where someone can rent a 3 bedroom house for $800-$1000 a month, so maybe that's just my perspective.
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  #3  
Old 03-17-2013, 05:35 PM
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That is a ridiculous amount of money for her to ask of you, IMHO. Do you realize that $2100 per month is approximately twice the average amount that senior citizens and the disabled must live on with Social Security benefits? Outrageous...
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:01 PM
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She may be trying to scam you. I would be careful. She might not be planing to place her baby at all. I hope she's not doing this to other people.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:47 AM
dmariehill dmariehill is offline
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Have you heard anything else from the emom on this one?


2100 for rent alone is very high.

Most of the situations we looked at in FL ranged from 1500 to 2000 a month for living expenses, but that was everything -food, housing, phone, medical, electric, etc.

I would not be willing to pay that much for rent. There are more cost effective places to live and I'd need to understand why she's planning to not work for the last 4 months - is the doctor indicating she might have to go on bed rest?
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:03 PM
3CanAdopt 3CanAdopt is offline
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I agree with everyone else -- $2100 is WAY too much for rent alone. If she does indeed pay that much, (and she does contact you again) you could ask for proof that her rent is truly $2100. There must be a paper trail on that high amount- a lease, a cashed check.... We are paying our birth mother about $700 a month for her share of rent, food, phone and maternity clothes/essentials. We have set up an escrow account with the agency. Our birthmom has to show receipts. This money is "charity" and does not guarantee that you get the baby. Proceed with caution.
Good Luck.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2013, 07:01 PM
lag28wa lag28wa is offline
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Definitely sounds like too much. As far as paying after the baby is born, I would make sure I was familiar with the laws in my/her state regarding what adoptive parents can pay for and then how long they can pay after the baby is born. I'm sure your agency has already addressed this, but just in case and I always prefer to research things myself in addition to being told about them.

I know this was a couple months ago so I hope everything is working out
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:58 PM
3CanAdopt 3CanAdopt is offline
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Proceed with caution, always

Hi everyone, I just want to update my experiences thus far with our birth mom. I am doing this because I don't think people starting the adoption process get the full picture of the roller coaster you get on when you "match". In our State, the situation we adoptive parents are basically forced into is that essentially we cannot have a match if we dont agree to pay the birth mother expenses. We have no guarantee that we get a baby at the end of the ride.

I wrote my last entry in April. Its now June. Our birthmother is due in early August. Things seem to be on track, fortunately, but at the end of May, the young father decided he wanted to keep the baby, though birthmom knows she is not ready to be a parent. We got the sad news on a Thursday then after a terribly emotional weekend in which I felt like I just had another miscarriage, the couple went back to the social worker on Monday and realized that adoption was the best plan. So we are back on track for now, but I can tell you that one of the emotions I had to work through was the money issue and the fact that $2000 just went down the drain. I started to wonder if she really was spending the money on "maternity related" expenses because I have not seen one receipt, even though I thought she is supposed to turn in receipts. No one is really enforcing that. Instead what I've learned is that the agency deposits a check from our escrow account (which I had deposited 4 months of support) into her account. NO RECEIPTS. The agency pays the cellphone bill for the birth mom and dad. Otherwise, I really dont know what she is spending the money on and I have to just let it go, otherwise I am going to drive myself crazy wondering if I am being taken advantage of. (Which can happen, BTW)

It makes you feel horrible to lay out thousands of dollars of your life savings only to be told, "we changed our minds" -- so for those of you starting the process, you must be prepared for this because until the adoption is finalized in the court. You are always at risk. Proceed with caution, but you must also have faith. Trust your instincts and dont let your emotions of wanting a baby so much allow you to jump into a financial agreement that does not feel right.

One of the things that helped me with the financial issue was that a friend pointed out that our "contribution" really does help a woman in need, so what if she spends the money to take her boyfriend to the movies- maybe that helps her cope for two hours with the pain of giving her baby up for adoption. You have to have faith and trust in the "pay it forward" concept or you will drive yourself nuts.

We like the birth mother very much and she has not yet wavered on the adoption plan. We also like the birth father. We know that they both have their own emotional issues to work through and must process the adoption. We dont like this roller coaster and are now guarding our hearts and hoping for the best. We are ready to see this through and should they change their minds of course we will be disappointed, but we have to respect their decisions. Its not our baby yet, so there really is nothing we can do but wait and reassure them that we will provide a loving and nurturing home for their baby. We are hopeful that it will all work out and if so, we look forward to a lifelong healthy relationship for the sake of the baby.
Until later....
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Old 06-11-2013, 04:43 AM
dmariehill dmariehill is offline
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3canadopt you make some good points.

I do want to point out though that you do not have to adopt in the state you live in. If you aren't happy with the emom expenses that are typically paid in your state, you can register with an agency in another state.

Also, each state has it's own rules about what can and can't be paid. I would be concerned that the agency was just depositing money into her account. That's not the experience we had. Our agency controlled the money. We didn't see the receipts but after a failed match we did request a reconciliation and were able to see what had been paid. Our agency was paying the rent to the landlord, the electric to the company, the phone bill to the company, etc. She was given some cash for food, etc, but it was small compared to the rest of the expenses.

So I would add to what you said, check with the agency before you register on how they handle expenses. Not all agencies are the same. Even in your state, a different agency will handle expenses differently even if they are similar in $.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:50 AM
ruth74 ruth74 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmariehill
Also, each state has it's own rules about what can and can't be paid. I would be concerned that the agency was just depositing money into her account.
I would second this. I worked with a "flat fee" agency, so I did not pay expenses directly, but when I finalized in my state I had to give an accounting of how much I paid in eparent expenses and what that money went for. My finalization could have been denied if I had paid money that was not legal in my state (or couldn't prove what it was paid for), so I would be careful with that aspect as well.
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Old 06-25-2013, 07:27 AM
3CanAdopt 3CanAdopt is offline
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Adoption Cancelled

Just wanted to update -- Its June 25, 2013 -- our adoption is now officially off. The birth mother, who a week ago emphatically told me how much she did not want to be a parent and was dead set on adoption, has now changed her mind. Well, we almost got there - 6 weeks were left to go.. we had all the baby gear ready, I had arranged for 5 weeks of vacation time from my job....

Better now then later, I guess. We are glad to be off the roller coaster.

We did get end up getting some receipts for food, mainly things like pizza for birthmom and boyfriend, taco bell receipt. Nothing like we expected. She was paying "rent" to her BF's uncle in cash. I hope what I have will be enough to recoup the losses on our 2013 Income Taxes.

ruth74 and dmariehill both have very good points that all new perspective adoptive parents should consider.

Good Luck
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:15 AM
dmariehill dmariehill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3CanAdopt
Just wanted to update -- Its June 25, 2013 -- our adoption is now officially off. The birth mother, who a week ago emphatically told me how much she did not want to be a parent and was dead set on adoption, has now changed her mind. Well, we almost got there - 6 weeks were left to go.. we had all the baby gear ready, I had arranged for 5 weeks of vacation time from my job....

Better now then later, I guess. We are glad to be off the roller coaster.

We did get end up getting some receipts for food, mainly things like pizza for birthmom and boyfriend, taco bell receipt. Nothing like we expected. She was paying "rent" to her BF's uncle in cash. I hope what I have will be enough to recoup the losses on our 2013 Income Taxes.

ruth74 and dmariehill both have very good points that all new perspective adoptive parents should consider.

Good Luck

I don't think you need copies of their receipts.

Here's what we had for our taxes - the statement of fees that was with the contract that itemized what was agency fee, what was emom expense, what was legal fee, etc. It was a notarized document that we signed. Ask the agency for a reconciliation document and a letter/email stating what $ is available for refund and what is nonrefundable or lost. Your tax accountant should be able to work with those items.

In the end we successfully adopted later the same year, so we were way over the 12,500 credit. But the notarized fee document is what they wanted for the IRS. We had no problems getting our credit.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:19 AM
dmariehill dmariehill is offline
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And I'm so sorry things didn't work out. It really sucks. When this happened to us, I packed up all the baby gear out of sight. I took some time for me. Just a weekend or a day with the hubs to do something fun. Then we jumped back on the waiting rollercoaster. We'd stayed with the same agency and they got us matched again pretty quickly. The second time, I didn't get any baby stuff out until 2 weeks before delivery and even then, I didn't set most of it up. Just had it available. I held my heart back until we took her home from the hospital. This is hard, no doubt, but once you get through this and are able to bring your LO home, the memory of this pain will fade.

Normally, I'd recommend staying with the same agency to minimize your loss but in this case, because of how they are handling the emom expenses, I'd be tempted to look at other agencies.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:42 AM
3CanAdopt 3CanAdopt is offline
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Thanks! This is helpful. We do have an itemized list of the birth mother's expenses, plus copies of the checks and receipts of the money paid into the escrow account. They are supposed to return to us the unused amount.
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Old 02-18-2014, 06:29 PM
luluwaits luluwaits is offline
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Oh my gosh this is awful. We really lucked out. God knew what He was doing when he lead us to our agency.

It's a non-profit and charges us a FLAT fee for our domestic adoption. We also pay as we go. They cover everything else no matter how many birth moms change their mind. The agency pays for the bmoms pre/post placement counseling and aids them with any assistance they may need. I didn't realize how amazing this is until I started reading up on these threads.

There is no way I could go through an adoption without knowing the exact costs ahead of time. We are not an ATM!

Our home study was just approved last week and all we have paid up to this point is $11,411. And it was paid gradually. Each step of the way was followed with a chunk of the fee. That way if we changed our mind at any point we wouldn't be at a huge loss. We pay for services as we receive them.

10 days after placement there is a fee of $2,000 and another of $3,000. If for some reason we don't have the money after baby costs they can work with us to make smaller payments.

All we have to do is pay for home study renewal each year if we aren't placed within a year.
Oh and if we happen to be placed with a sibling group there is an extra fee of $1,000 to cover paper work. That's it. You don't pay more for additional kids. They're not selling us babies!!!!

Not to mention we can apply for grants and they will send us refund checks for what we have paid if we turn in any grant $.
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