Can I get paid for giving a baby up for adoption?” she asked.

She really wasn’t asking out of greed. She was in a bad spot, needed to feed her kids and had another baby on the way.

I have a friend who said she’d bought a used car with the money someone gave her for giving her baby up for adoption,” she explained. “What can I get?”

It’s a common question (although it makes ethical adoption professionals uncomfortable.) After all, surrogates get paid, so why don’t birthmothers get paid for giving a baby up for adoption?

Under the laws of nearly every state, it is illegal to profit from the adoption of a child. Why? Because to profit from adoption makes that the sale of a child, and that’s trafficking. Thus, birthparents who place cannot earn money nor be rewarded for having placed.

Adopting parents can’t pay birthparents for placing. Adoption attorneys in Texas cannot pay birthparents’ living expenses or make money for arranging an adoption. Only adoption agencies are allowed to provide financial support, and then, only for approved expenses when there’s documented need.

What Abrazo Can Do to Help Placing Parents

When you place a child for adoption through a licensed adoption agency like Abrazo, Texas laws do not allow you to get paid for giving a baby up for adoption, nor to receive gifts of value for doing so.

A licensed adoption agency can, however, provide the same services free of charge that a maternity home offers, during pregnancy and after placement.

This means Abrazo is permitted to provide you with housing and utilities so you and your baby have safe shelter. Abrazo can help with food, and with transportation for prenatal appointments. Our agency can provide you with clothing and counseling, medical care and childcare during necessary appointments. (Because this is considered charitable assistance, you cannot be required to pay anything back if you ultimately decide not to place.)

In contrast, Texas adoption attorneys cannot cover anything but medical bills and legal bills. (Likewise, adopting parents are prohibited from giving money, as well, even if they want to.) To violate the child-selling statute in Texas is a felony offense, no matter who you are.

Esmeralda Garza from Corpus found this out the hard way this year. She sold her seven-year-old son for $2500 to pay off a drug debt, and got eight years in prison for doing it. (Garza also lost custody of all three of her kids as a result.) In Lewisville a few months ago, authorities found a missing four-year-old girl from Louisiana. Her mother, Aubriana Recinos, had reportedly sold her to a pimp; that mother is now facing prosecution.

This is why it is so important for birthparent choosing adoption to do it through a safe and ethical agency like Abrazo, which protects both birthparents and babies.

No, You Can’t Get Paid for Giving a Baby Up for Adoption

But that doesn’t mean adoption won’t benefit you in other ways. The greatest benefits of Abrazo’s open adoption are intangible. That means the benefits that cannot be counted out or measured, but will likely be longer-lasting.

It may mean little to a desperate parent who needs new tires for her car or a birthfamily who is homeless right now. Yet financial problems are always temporary, so money issues should never be anyone’s only reason for making adopting plans. There’s no monetary reward that could justify the sacrifice, after all. That’s what makes adoption truly a gift of the heart.

The open adoptions done by Abrazo enable placing parents to literally choose their child’s future family. (Doing so also means the birthparents get to choose their relatives-by-adoption, too.) With Abrazo’s open adoptions, the birthfamily and adoptive get to know each other and build a lifelong relationship.

The child gets the benefit of a stable home and two sets of parents who care about each other. Birthparents can gain peace of mind as well as freedom from the burdens of parenting, or relief from the responsibilities of raising another child. And the adoptive parents get to build their family after weathering the rigors of infertility.

Adoption may not be a win-win solution, but when done right, the child may benefits in ways that enrich everyone’s future. So while you cannot get paid for giving up a baby for adoption, know that placing can change lives in ways that are even more important over time.

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24-Hour Birthparent HelpLine
for New Placing Parents/Medical Emergencies

Placing parents calling from Texas or surrounding states:

Placing parents calling from outside Texas, please call collect:
210-342-LOVE (5683)

Placing parents text:


Mailing address:

3123 Northwest Loop 410
San Antonio, TX 78230