What Are Birth Mother Living Expense?

What are birth mother living expense and why do I pay them?

Many families do not understand what birth mother living expenses are or why they pay them.

There is a misconception that it is like “paying the birth mother for choosing adoption,” which is completely false.

Birth mother living expenses are court-approved moneys provided by adoptive families to birth mothers to help cover their pregnancy-related costs.

Women who place for adoption usually cannot financially support a baby and sometimes even themselves. That is why they choose adoption.

Adoptive families should think of living expenses as what it sounds like.

Depending on her state’s adoption laws, a birth mother may be eligible for living expenses to help pay for items such as rent, utilities, transportation, food, maternity clothes, cell phone and more.

Why Birth Mothers Need Living Expenses

Many birth mothers work fulltime jobs, but as they continue further into their pregnancies, the less hours they are able to possibly work.

Living expenses help them during the pregnancy for things like:

  • Rent/Utilities
    • Some birth mothers need help with basic living including rent and utilities. Some come to us who are homeless and do not have a place to live. In this case, expenses would be distributed to help with these basic needs.
  • Medical Expenses
    • When paying for medical expenses, think of it as the first step of taking care of your baby. If you were caring a child, you would pay for doctors appointments as well. Some women may have medicaid or insurance to cover their own medical expenses but if not this is something that would be left up to you. It is an important step to make sure your baby is healthy.
  • Transportation
    • Some women do not have cars. These birth mother expenses will help getting them to their doctors appointments and to the grocery store.
  • Food
    • As a birth mother get further along in her pregnancy, she most likely will not work as often as she does. Providing food for herself and the baby may be more difficult at this point. That is why food is included in birth mother living expenses.
  • Maternity Clothes
    • As a birth mother’d body changes, she will need new clothes for the pregnancy. This is sometimes included in birth mother expenses if she cannot afford it.

How Should Living Expenses Be Distributed?

It is important to know that you should always distribute the birth mother living expense through a third party. In most cases this is the attorney you are working with.

The attorney in most circumstances will pay rent directly to the landlord, utilities directly to the utility companies, and distribute grocery money via reloadable gift cards.

This is important so you know your money is going to the things it is suppose to be going to.

In most cases, this gives adoptive parents peace of mind.


It is important to remember that if these women could afford these basic needs they would not be in the position where placing for adoption is best. Try to keep an open mind and understanding when it comes to birth mother living expenses.


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