Permissible Adoption Payments in Virginia FAQ

Permissible Adoption Payments in Virginia FAQ

Question 1: Can we as Virginia residents pay an attorney out in California his fee to match us with a birth mom or find us a child to adopt?

Answer: No that is an illegal and unlawful payment that could subject you to a Class 6 felony charge in Virginia.

Question 2: Can we as Virginia residents pay “We Will Find you a Baby Adoptions” a fee to match us with a birth mom or find us a child to adopt?

Answer: If they are not a licensed child placement agency, then NO you may not pay them as that is an illegal and unlawful payment that could subject you to a Class 6 felony charge in Virginia. You can ONLY pay a licensed child placement agency to find you a child or a birth parent situation or a “matching” fee. You should ask any such agency for a copy of its license. WATCH OUT FOR LICENSED FACILITATORS! They may have a “license” but they are not licensed child placement (adoption) agencies.

Question 3: Can we promise a birth mother in Virginia that we will pay for all her living expenses throughout the pregnancy?

Answer: No. you cannot make a blanket promise as living expenses are limited. You can only pay or reimburse for reasonable and necessary expenses for food, clothing, and shelter when, upon the written advice of her physician, the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself due to medical reasons or complications associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child.

Question 4: If the birth mother cannot get a written note from her doctor, then what can we pay on her behalf without such a doctor’s note?

Answer: You can pay for the following:

  • Her fees for her own attorney or legal representation,
  • Her mental health counseling or adoption counseling fees,
  • Any payment or reimbursement for medical expenses and insurance premiums that are directly related to the birth mother’s pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child who is the subject of the adoption proceedings,
  • Any expenses incurred for medical care for the child; and,
  • Payment or reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred incidental to her having to attend any required court appearance including, but not limited to, transportation, food and lodging.

Here are the relevant Virginia Code sections:

§ 63.2-1218. Certain exchange of property, advertisement, solicitation prohibited; penalty.

No person or child-placing agency shall charge, pay, give, or agree to give or accept any money, property, service or other thing of value in connection with a placement or adoption or any act undertaken pursuant to this chapter except (i) reasonable and customary services provided by a licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency and fees paid for such services; (ii) payment or reimbursement for medical expenses and insurance premiums that are directly related to the birth mother’s pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child who is the subject of the adoption proceedings, for mental health counseling received by the birth mother or birth father related to the adoption, and for expenses incurred for medical care for the child; (iii) payment or reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses for food, clothing, and shelter when, upon the written advice of her physician, the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself due to medical reasons or complications associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child; (iv) payment or reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred incidental to any required court appearance including, but not limited to, transportation, food and lodging; (v) usual and customary fees for legal services in adoption proceedings; and (vi) payment or reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred for transportation in connection with any of the services specified in this section or intercountry placements as defined in § 63.2-100 and as necessary for compliance with state and federal law in such placements. No person shall advertise or solicit to perform any activity prohibited by this section. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The Commissioner is authorized to investigate cases in which fees paid for legal services appear to be in excess of usual and customary fees in order to determine if there has been compliance with the provisions of this section.

§ 63.2-1219. Suspected violation of property exchange information.

If the juvenile and domestic relations or circuit court or any participating licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency suspects that there has been a violation of § 63.2-1218 in connection with a placement or adoption, it shall report such findings to the Commissioner for investigation and appropriate action. If the Commissioner suspects that a person has violated § 63.2-1218, he shall report his findings to the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth. If the Commissioner believes that such violation has occurred in the course of the practice of a profession or occupation licensed or regulated pursuant to Title 54.1, he shall also report such findings to the appropriate regulatory authority for investigation and appropriate disciplinary action.


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Permissible Adoption Payments in Virginia FAQ


Question 1: Can we as Virginia residents pay an attorney out in California his fee to match us with a birth mom or find us a child to adopt?

Answer: No that is an illegal and unlawful payment that could subject you to a Class 6 felony charge in Virginia.

Question 2: Can we as Virginia residents pay “We Will Find you a Baby Adoptions” a fee to match us with a birth mom or find us a child to adopt?

Answer: If they are not a licensed child placement agency, then NO you may not pay them as that is an illegal and unlawful payment that could subject you to a Class 6 felony charge in Virginia. You can ONLY pay a licensed child placement agency to find you a child or a birth parent situation or a “matching” fee. You should ask any such agency for a copy of its license. WATCH OUT FOR LICENSED FACILITATORS! They may have a “license” but they are not licensed child placement (adoption) agencies.

Question 3: Can we promise a birth mother in Virginia that we will pay for all her living expenses throughout the pregnancy?

Answer: No. you cannot make a blanket promise as living expenses are limited. You can only pay or reimburse for reasonable and necessary expenses for food, clothing, and shelter when, upon the written advice of her physician, the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself due to medical reasons or complications associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child.

Question 4: If the birth mother cannot get a written note from her doctor, then what can we pay on her behalf without such a doctor’s note?

Answer: You can pay for the following:

  • Her fees for her own attorney or legal representation,
  • Her mental health counseling or adoption counseling fees,
  • Any payment or reimbursement for medical expenses and insurance premiums that are directly related to the birth mother’s pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child who is the subject of the adoption proceedings,
  • Any expenses incurred for medical care for the child; and,
  • Payment or reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred incidental to her having to attend any required court appearance including, but not limited to, transportation, food and lodging.

Here are the relevant Virginia Code sections:

§ 63.2-1218. Certain exchange of property, advertisement, solicitation prohibited; penalty.

No person or child-placing agency shall charge, pay, give, or agree to give or accept any money, property, service or other thing of value in connection with a placement or adoption or any act undertaken pursuant to this chapter except (i) reasonable and customary services provided by a licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency and fees paid for such services; (ii) payment or reimbursement for medical expenses and insurance premiums that are directly related to the birth mother’s pregnancy and hospitalization for the birth of the child who is the subject of the adoption proceedings, for mental health counseling received by the birth mother or birth father related to the adoption, and for expenses incurred for medical care for the child; (iii) payment or reimbursement for reasonable and necessary expenses for food, clothing, and shelter when, upon the written advice of her physician, the birth mother is unable to work or otherwise support herself due to medical reasons or complications associated with the pregnancy or birth of the child; (iv) payment or reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred incidental to any required court appearance including, but not limited to, transportation, food and lodging; (v) usual and customary fees for legal services in adoption proceedings; and (vi) payment or reimbursement of reasonable expenses incurred for transportation in connection with any of the services specified in this section or intercountry placements as defined in § 63.2-100 and as necessary for compliance with state and federal law in such placements. No person shall advertise or solicit to perform any activity prohibited by this section. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The Commissioner is authorized to investigate cases in which fees paid for legal services appear to be in excess of usual and customary fees in order to determine if there has been compliance with the provisions of this section.

§ 63.2-1219. Suspected violation of property exchange information.

If the juvenile and domestic relations or circuit court or any participating licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency suspects that there has been a violation of § 63.2-1218 in connection with a placement or adoption, it shall report such findings to the Commissioner for investigation and appropriate action. If the Commissioner suspects that a person has violated § 63.2-1218, he shall report his findings to the appropriate attorney for the Commonwealth. If the Commissioner believes that such violation has occurred in the course of the practice of a profession or occupation licensed or regulated pursuant to Title 54.1, he shall also report such findings to the appropriate regulatory authority for investigation and appropriate disciplinary action.

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