Domestic Adoption Fees
The individual consultation service is available to families who have received a general adoption information package (but have not yet submitted an application) and are interested in having an individual meeting with a social worker to discuss more in depth the agencies' services/programs. This service is optional. Families can request an Application Package without having an individual consultation.
$150.00 Individual Consultation Fee- optional service, to be sent in with Registration of Interest form
Home Study Services
The home study is both a process and a document.
The Process: The process involves a series of interviews with an adoption social worker. It is required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that all aspects of a prospective family's life be explored, including but not limited to, health, social and employment history, marriage(s) (if applicable), disciplinary practices with children, motivation to adopt, and financial/housing/criminal records backgrounds. Information from the interviews and paperwork completed by the family is then consolidated into a written report.
The Document: This written report, the home study, is used to facilitate the matching of a child with the family. It is sent to the "placing agency," Interstate Compact (in some domestic adoption cases), and to the court for legalization. It is valid for one year.
- $500.00 Application Fee- due when Application is sent in (non-refundable)
- $2000.00 Home Study Fee- due at the beginning of the Home Study process
- $1000.00 Home Study Update Fee- due at the beginning of the Home Study update process (Home Study update fee applies only if the original home study is less than five years old, and for updates needed for applicant(s) to change programs)
- Requests for expedited home study (within 60 days) - $350.00 additional
Domestic Adoption Pre-Placement Coordination
This service is not included in the home study or placement services and is only eligible to families The Home for Little Wanderers has home studied. This service includes assistance to families with the following: home study updates, screening expectant/birth parent calls and use of The Home's 800 number, assisting and reviewing prospective families in the preparation of their "Dear Birth Family" letter and profile, monthly support during wait, distributing on a regular basis to the family information about placement resources and/or child-link sources, education for families about search techniques, networking with other agencies to promote the waiting family and networking on behalf of the family with other placing agencies and/or sources. Lastly, families can promote themselves through listing on The Home's web site. A pre-placement coordination fee is required after the home study is approved.
- $750.00 - For those working with all other Sources.
- $1,200.00 - For those who leave a profile with The Home for Little Wanderers to be shown to the birth families we work with.
Due at the completion/approval of the home study.
Domestic Adoption Placement Services
The Home for Little Wanderers assists families in a variety of ways for placement of a newborn. Most families work with a variety of sources in order to locate a birth family who may be considering making an adoption plan. The Home for Little Wanderers sees a limited number of birth families who come to the agency for counseling. We can also help adoptive parent(s) and expectant/birth parent(s) to explore their preferences around ongoing contact. In Massachusetts only licensed child-placement agencies can facilitate an adoption. The Home for Little Wanderers can also assist with interstate placements. In some instances, The Home for Little Wanderers will be considered the "placing agency" and take custody of the child, and in other cases another agency will be the "placing agency" but The Home's services will be needed in order to facilitate the placement of the child.
- Agency Identified: For families who are chosen by a birth family being served by The Home for Little Wanderers, the fee formula is as follows: 15% of the gross income as determined from the last year's income tax statement, with a minimum of $10,000 and a maximum of $15,000. There is an additional fee of $1500 if the prospective adoptive family lives outside of the state of Massachusetts.
- Parent Identified: For families who identify their own birth family, the fee formula is as follows: 10% of the gross income as determined from the last year's income tax statement, with a minimum of $5,000 and a maximum of $12,000. There is an additional fee of $1500 if the birth family resides out of state and is brought to Massachusetts for placement and relinquished to THLW. The fee of $1500 also applies if the prospective adoptive family resides outside of the state of Massachusetts and is working with a Massachusetts birth family.
- Agency Assisted: For families who are working with another agency who will be considered the "placement agency" but need services from The Home for Little Wanderers, the fee is an hourly rate of $100.00 or a flat fee of $3,000, whichever fee is less.
Note: If there is another adoption agency involved in the placement, their fees are not captured in the above list. We do not take responsibility for setting or collecting these fees. If you are taking this route, you would need to make payment arrangements directly with the other agency and THLW would develop an interagency agreement to spell out the services being provided by each agency. If this involved an out of state agency, the agreement would need to consider the laws of both states and the requirements of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children.
Not included in the above mentioned placement fees are costs allowed by state law to be paid on behalf of a birth mother and child referred to as "Massachusetts Allowable Birth Mother Expenses." For these allowable expenses the prospective adoptive family escrows money with THLW which are then used to pay for the expectant/birth parent expenses. No direct payments to expectant/birth parent(s) by adoptive parents are allowed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or THLW. Amounts range and are determined by an evaluation of need for financial assistance which is conducted between THLW and the expectant/birth parents. Expenses which may be paid out of escrow monies, in accordance with Massachusetts law are as follows:
- Living Expenses: shall not exceed $980 per month, and shall not be made for more than a total of eight months (including no more than six months during the pregnancy and six weeks after the child is born). Living expenses shall be limited to lodging, food, utilities, and clothing and be reasonable and necessary.
- Medical Expenses: pre-natal care, delivery, and other pregnancy related medical expenses, up to thirty days after delivery. THLW practice is to first assist a birth mother in securing medical coverage before asking that a prospective adoptive parent(s) cover these costs. In most cases, insurance (such as FREE CARE) is available but may not cover all the expenses.
- Transportation: transportation to access medical, legal, counseling and adoption services. Air fares are allowed but there are restrictions (see agency representative for further information).
- Legal Services: legal services related to the relinquishment and adoption process for expectant/birth parent(s). Until recently, when both parents signed adoption surrenders, there were no additional legal fees for termination of parental rights. However, because of changes in paternity laws, court orders are now required in most cases, in addition to adoption surrenders. For example, a court order (often referred to as a 210) officially adjudicating paternity might be necessary if the birth father's name is not recorded on the birth certificate or if a birth couple is not married. The agency will undertake whatever legal actions are necessary to insure the child is properly free to be adopted. Court ordered terminations of the birth father's rights require legal representation (which THLW secures). These cases involve a minimum of notification, publication, and appearance at court hearings. Cases vary in complexity including factors such as whether all parties reside in the same state and whether either parent is a minor. In addition, in Massachusetts, expectant/birth parents have the right to consult their own attorney instead of simply relying upon the legal information provided by the adoption program. THLW explains this right to expectant/birth parents. In instances where the expectant/birth parents want an independent legal opinion, the adoptive parents are asked to cover this expense. The details of a specific case will be explained to the prospective adoptive parents before any commitment to pay case specific fees is requested.
- Foster Care: foster care is provided at the option of the expectant/birth parents. In many cases, the expectant/birth parent(s) may need more time to finalize a decision. During this period, the child is placed in a trained infant foster care home. In some cases, a direct placement from the hospital to the adoptive parents is made. However, that can only occur when the agency, birth family, and prospective adoptive family are all in agreement. Foster care fees are covered by the adoptive parents and are very reasonable.
- Counseling: counseling is mandated by the state law and THLW's policy to assure an informed and non-coerced decision. The number of hours needed varies case by case.
- Support Services: for reasonable and necessary educational, vocational, recreational, and religious services that shall not exceed $500 per month. Expenses which are incurred on behalf of the child and expectant/birth parent(s) are scrupulously monitored. Other sources such as insurance, Free Care, etc. are explored before using escrow funds.
After an evaluation of the expectant/birth parent(s) financial needs takes place, the prospective family is given an account of the areas in which assistance is needed and the amount. An exact accounting of these escrow monies and actual expenditures can be requested at any time. A summary of expenditures will be forth-coming prior to finalization. Any unexpended escrow funds are refunded to the adopting family at the time of finalization. Laws in other states vary regarding both the total allowable expenses and which expenses can be paid.
Post-Placement Supervision and Legalization Services
Post-placement supervision is required by Massachusetts regulations, The Home's policy, and for domestic clients, the placement agency and if applicable Interstate Compact.
In Massachusetts, 6 months of supervision is required. This entails minimally at least 3 face-to-face meetings and monthly telephone contact. After each visit, the assigned social worker will write a report and then forward it on to the appropriate agency or source.
The purpose of this service is to evaluate the adjustment of the child and family and to prepare the court legalization package. At the end of the post-placement period, the finalization package can be submitted by The Home for Little Wanderers to the appropriate court on behalf of the family.
$2000.00- paid at time of placement
- Note: For families who reside in Suffolk County an attorney is required by the court to attend the finalization hearing. The Home can provide an attorney for an additional fee or the family can secure their own attorney. The Home can still complete the legalization package.
- Additional fees are applied to families needing post-placement support beyond 6 months, each additional report needed is $500.00
Prospective adoptive parents may apply to The Home for Little Wanderers for a reduction in fees, or an extended payment plan, based on financial need. All requests should be submitted in writing to the Director of Adoptions. Applicants should include proof of income and expenses, credit history, and other relevant financial documentation in their request.