Adoptive Parents: Will we as “adoptive parents to be” be required to cover the birth mother’s medical expenses and do we buy an insurance policy to cover the baby that is separate from our medical insurance?
Answer: Generally the answer is no. Most pregnant women who do not already have medical insurance are entitled to medical coverage through MediCal or Medicaid. We assist a birth mother in securing this critical medical coverage. Since a baby cannot be placed for adoption until after the birth of the baby, the entire nine months of prenatal care and the delivery of the baby are generally covered by government issued medical insurance. Federal law (ERISA) requires your private health insurance provider to cover the baby. Your insurance company is responsible for coverage for the baby as soon as the birth mother signs the placement papers. All that you will need to do is contact your insurance company and request that the child be added to your policy. You should make this request once the birth mother signs her placement papers. While coverage is mandatory, an insurance company will charge an extra monthly/yearly premium to add a dependent to your policy. Since Medicaid generally covers the birth mother and the baby until placement, and an adoptive parent’s insurance company covers the baby from the placement, it is fair to say that most adoptive parents do not pay the birth mother’s prenatal or delivery bills because they already are covered.