259.55 PAYMENT OF BIRTH PARENT EXPENSES; PENALTY.
Subdivision 1. Authorized payments.
In any adoption under this chapter, a prospective
adoptive parent or anyone acting in concert with, at the direction of, or on behalf of a prospective
adoptive parent may pay only the following expenses of the birth parent:
(1) reasonable counseling, medical, and legal fees, which shall be paid directly to the
provider of the service;
(2) reasonable expenses for transportation, meals, and lodging incurred for placement of
the child or in order to receive counseling, legal, or medical services related to the pregnancy,
birth, or placement;
(3) reasonable expenses for adoption services provided by an agency at the request of the
birth parent, which shall be paid directly to the agency; and
(4) reasonable living expenses of the birth mother which are needed to maintain an adequate
standard of living which the birth mother is unable to otherwise maintain because of loss of
income or other support resulting from the pregnancy.
(i) The payments may cover expenses incurred during the pregnancy-related incapacity but
not for a period longer than six weeks following delivery, unless the court determines within
the six-week period that the birth mother is unable to be employed due to physical limitations
relating to the birth of the child;
(ii) the payment shall not be contingent upon placement of the child for adoption, consent to
adoption, or cooperation in the completion of the adoption; and
(iii) reasonable living expenses does not include expenses for lost wages, gifts, educational
expenses, or other similar expenses of the birth mother.
Subd. 2. No birth parent reimbursement to adoptive parent.
A contract purporting to
require a birth parent to reimburse a prospective adoptive parent for such payments under any
circumstances, including circumstances in which a birth parent refuses to consent to adoption or
withdraws consent to adoption, is void as against public policy.
Subd. 3. Prohibited payments; penalty.
(a) Except as authorized under subdivision 1, it is a
gross misdemeanor for an individual to give, or for a birth parent to accept, money or anything of
value, or compensation for the placement of a child for adoption.
(b) It is a gross misdemeanor for any person to give money or anything of value to the birth
parent of a child if the person is engaged or has engaged in any placement activity, as defined in
259.21, subdivision 9
, in connection with the adoption of the child.
(c) An offense under this subdivision shall be prosecuted by the county attorney.
History: 1994 c 631 s 27,31; 1997 c 177 s 16