Hi, Steve Kirsh and Yogi here with the answer to today’s adoption question. The question is: “What has changed over adoptions in the last 34 years which you think is significant?”
The answer is, that when I first started handling adoptions 34 years ago they were a bit less complicated because living expenses were not part of the process. The introduction of living expenses has complicated adoptions significantly, not because living expenses in and of themselves are bad. Frankly, if a mom can’t get her self to the end of her pregnancy we are not really offering her much of an option to carry a baby to term.
Indiana law limits living expenses to $3,000, during the entire pregnancy. Some might argue that that is not enough. That is not enough to get a mom to the end of her pregnancy, but the law is what it is. The problem is that with the introduction of living expenses there is no way for adoptive parents, or adoption attorneys to know that a woman is really sincere about adopting and is not just trying to collect the money.
I hate to say it so frankly, but that is the case. Now, because we have had so much experience at Kirsh & Kirsh, we have a pretty good sense of who is being honest with us and who is not. We are not perfect and we make mistakes. There is no way to know for sure. We have some moms who seem very motivated by money who proceed with the adoption and we have other moms who seem very motivated by the money who never intended to proceed with the adoption.
And we don’t ever know until the baby is born, what was her real motivation. And, even after the baby is born we do not know that she had a good faith change of heart about adoption or she was never intending to proceed with the adoption.
So, I would say, that the introduction of living expenses has certainly complicated the process in adoptions in Indiana, in the last 34 years.
I hope that is helpful. Yogi and I are always here to answer questions as you have them.