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Expenses Allowed Under California Law

FAMILY CODE SECTION 8812

REQUEST FOR FEES AND LIVING EXPENSES:

Any request by a birth parent or birth parents for payment by the prospective adoptive parents of attorneys fees, medical fees and expenses, counseling fees or living expenses of the birth mother, shall be in writing. The birth parent or parents shall, by first-class mail or other agreed upon means to insure receipt, provide the prospective adoptive parents written receipts for any money provided to the birth parent or parents. The prospective adoptive parents shall provide the receipts to the court when the accounting report pursuant to Section 8610 is filed.

WHAT IS THE AVERAGE COST OF AN INDEPENDENT ADOPTION?

Time Magazine published a lengthy article on adoption, in Fall, 1989, stating that the costs of an independent adoption ranges between $6,200.00 and $18,000.00, without considering psychological counseling.

The Wall Street Journal also ran an article in Fall, 1989, stating that the overall cost of an independent adoption was between $12,000.00 and $20,000.00. No breakdown of costs was given, however.

Parade Magazine also ran an article on the cost of having a baby in its April 8, 1990 issue. A summary of the three articles is as follows:

Time Magazine, October 9, 1989 [See Page 86]. In the cover story titled, "The Baby Chase", the article states, "While expenses vary widely, here are some typical ranges, which do not include advertising, travel or counseling: "

  • Legal Fees -- $1,500.00 -- 4,000.00
  • Mother's medical -- $2,500.00 -- 6,500.00 (hospital & obstetrician)
  • If caesarean, add $2,000.00 -- 4,500.00
  • Pediatrician -- $ 200.00 -- 600.00
  • Mother's living costs (payable in some states) -- $2,000.00 -- 3,000.00
TOTAL: $6,200.00 -- 18,600.00

The Wall Street Journal, [See Page 1, Column 1] September 14, 1989, in an article titled: "Hard Choices: In Today's Adoptions, the Biological Parents Are Calling the Shots," the writer says that costs range between $12,000.00 and $20,000.00, stating:

"Most attorneys are highly responsive to birth parents' wants and wishes... so, the birth parents go shopping. They'll read the list to you over the phone, and if you don't provide them with an open adoption, full payment of medical expenses -- they'll go down the street to the next provider. It's an adoption free market.

Parade, April 8, 1990 [See page 10], ran a piece titled: How Much Does A Baby Cost? The article points out that the costs associated with having a baby are on the rise. It states that in 1989, the average cost was $4,334.00.

If the delivery was a C-section, the average cost was $7,186.00.

There are several reasons for the sharp rise in doctors' fees and maternity costs. The main reasons are the heavy increase in liability-insurance fees paid by obstetricians, the increase in the number of prenatal tests given to pregnant patients, and the startling rise in the number of women who give birth via C-sections.

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