Financial Assistance for Adoption
They say money can’t buy happiness. While that might be true, having money and knowing how to budget can ease feelings of stress and uncertainty. A plan for how to manage your money for unexpected blessings will save you from a lot of stress and anxiety.
One of those unexpected blessings can come in the form of a baby growing inside of you. Planned or unplanned, babies are expensive, even when they haven’t arrived into the world yet. You may need money for doctor visits, vitamins, clothes for yourself as your belly grows, food — not to mention all the utility bills you have already.
Deciding to place your child for adoption can make the monetary part of the journey a bit easier. With so many things that you already have to worry about, Adoption Choices of New York wants to help alleviate as much stress as we can so that you can focus on nurturing your health and your baby. The following guide helps explain assistance we offer through your adoption journey.
1. Insurance and Placing a Baby for Adoption
Many birth mothers and birth parents are unable to afford health insurance for a variety of reasons. But don’t worry. You can usually get coverage through Medicaid. Since you are unable to place your baby for adoption until the baby is born, you have nine months to research options and find the right insurance plan.
Prenatal care and delivery of the baby is often covered by government issued medical insurance anyway. Federal law under ERISA and its amendments requires this. Once the baby is born, the adoptive parents are responsible for the baby’s health and medical coverage. All you have to do as the birth mother to make this happen is sign the placement papers.
For birth mothers who already have health insurance, ask one of our adoption professionals for assistance with finding in-network connections, and meeting deductibles and copays.
2. What about Medical and Legal Fees?
Medical and legal fees can add up quickly when you are placing your baby for adoption and creating your adoption plan. But you don’t need to panic. Adoption Choices of New York has you covered. Whatever out-of-pocket expenses are not covered through your health insurance will be taken care of via the adoptive parents.
There is absolutely no cost whatsoever for placing a baby for adoption. The costs accrue once you begin prenatal care and the adoption journey. But our agency will make sure that you receive the care that both you and your baby need to have a healthy pregnancy. We will also walk you through your adoption hospital plan, so that it perfectly fits your wishes and requirements for when the baby arrives.
In regards to the legal aspect, you will be able to speak to our in-house legal representatives, who will make sure you understand your rights and everything else before you sign anything. He or she will always keep your best interests at heart every step of the way. This service is free for you.
3. Need Housing? Not a Problem!
If you are in need of housing during your pregnancy, the available options can vary depending on where you live and your state laws. However, we will do our best to find you the safest and healthiest environment for you and your growing baby. The housing option, if need be, can also act as a temporary “get back on your feet” situation. Expenses including, but not limited to, rent, utilities and phone can be covered for you.
4. Financial Adoption Assistance for Birth Mothers
Finances can be an overwhelming topic, and feel like a burden when you’re providing for yourself. That’s why there are resources — including scholarships and grants — available to help. To help take some of the stress and anxiety away. From pregnancy-related medical and hospital costs to counseling fees, you have options. Below are great resources to keep in mind:
- Colorado 211 – helps you meet both your financial and basic needs. If you need assistance paying your monthly bills or other expenses, there is personal financial counseling available that will help point you in the right direction. They will do a complete assessment of your income, expenses, debts, taxes and any other relevant factors and create a short-term plan. A repayment plan will also be mapped out with you.
- Medicaid – provides health coverage to millions of Americans, and is funded jointly by the states and federal government. To learn more about their eligibility requirements, be sure to check out their website.
- Churches – talk to your church or a church local to your area about any assistance they can offer you. They are an excellent resource with connecting you to people who can help, or to programs available in the surrounding community.
5. Financial Coverage for Basic / Nutritional Needs
Taking care of yourself while pregnant — especially when you’re considering adoption — is paramount. So, you’ll want to do whatever you can to ensure a healthy pregnancy before adoption. If you’re unable to do this on your own, the following options are available. Each of the listed items operate through the New York Department of Financial Services.
- SNAP – Also known as the program that offers food stamps, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides nutrition benefits for those who are in need. This program permits the purchase of healthy food options and encourages those in the program towards self-sufficiency through building budgeting skills. Those found eligible will receive an EBT card that they can use at most grocery stores. Each month, the allotted amount will upload automatically onto the card.
- TANF – New York’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) has two major Temporary Assistance programs — Family Assistance (FA) and Safety Net Assistance (SA). Under FA, qualifying individuals are able to receive benefits for a total of 60 months in their lifetime, which do not need to be consecutive. With SA, eligible candidates can receive benefits for up to two years in their lifetime.
- WIC – not to be mistaken with food stamps, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Woman, Infants and Children (WIC) provides eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women with nutritional counseling, food assistance, and healthcare referrals. It is a government-funded program that is available in every state.
6. Do Birth Mothers “get paid” to place a baby for adoption?
This is a commonly asked question from prospective birth mothers and birth parents. The short answer is no. As a birth parent, you are NOT paid to “give up” or place your baby for adoption, and no adoption agency will ever agree to give you compensation for placing. This can result in accusations of trafficking and have severe legal repercussions.
However, choosing adoption and willingly placing your baby for adoption is free. Also, depending on your situation and needs, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance, housing, and have all other expenses covered for you through the adoptive parents or your health insurance plan.
7. Do Birth Mothers get Maternity Leave?
Do birth mothers take time off work after placing a baby for adoption? Absolutely! Choosing adoption is an extremely mentally and emotionally taxing process, and can be physically exhausting as well. Deciding that you are not the right parent to raise your baby is not easy by any stretch of the imagination.
Birth mothers are permitted to take maternity leave — also referred to as “medical leave” or “disability leave” — through the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This allows them to recover from delivery and to cope with the emotions that often follow. For a vaginal delivery, birth mothers can have up to six weeks and up to eight weeks for an uncomplicated C-section.
To take full advantage of FMLA benefits, however, your company may require you to meet certain milestones first, so be sure to consult with your employer to see if you are eligible. In most cases, FMLA can only be used if you’ve held your job for at least a year, worked a minimum of 1,250 hours and if your company has more than 50 employees.