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      CHC 1200     

  

Art. 1200.  Fee disclosure; permissible reimbursement of expenses; court review; report

A.  The petitioner shall file with the petition a preliminary estimate and accounting of fees and charges in accordance with Article 1201.  The petitioner also shall file a final Adoption Disclosure Affidavit with the court not later than ten days prior to the date scheduled for the final hearing on the adoption.

B.  Payments made by or on behalf of the adoptive parents or their representative to the department or to a child-placing agency or its agent or any broker for reimbursement of the following expenses are permissible and not a violation of R.S. 14:286:

(1)  Reasonable medical expenses, including hospital, testing, nursing, pharmaceutical, travel, or other similar expenses, incurred by the biological mother for prenatal care and those medical expenses incurred by the biological mother and child incident to birth.

(2)  Reasonable medical expenses, including hospital, testing, nursing, pharmaceutical, travel, or other similar expenses, and foster care expenses incurred on behalf of the child prior to the decree of adoption.

(3)  Reasonable expenses incurred by the department or the agency for adjustment counseling and training services provided to the adoptive parents and for home studies or investigations.

(4)  Reasonable administrative expenses incurred by the department or the agency, including overhead, court costs, travel costs, and attorney fees connected with an adoption.  In approving a reasonable fee for overhead, the court shall consider and include additional expenses incurred by the department or the agency not specifically allocated to the adoption before the court including the cost of failed adoptions, where those expenses or fees represent actual costs of the department's or agency's adoption services permitted by the provisions of this Article.

(5)  Reasonable expenses incurred for mental health counseling services provided to a biological parent or a child for a reasonable time before and after the child's placement for adoption.

(6)  Reasonable expenses incurred in ascertaining the information required by Articles 1124 and 1125.

(7)  Reasonable living expenses incurred by a mother for a reasonable time before the birth of her child and for no more than forty-five days after the birth.

(8)  Reasonable attorney fees, court costs, travel, or other expenses incurred on behalf of a parent who surrenders a child for adoption or otherwise consents to the child's adoption.

(9)  Any other specific service or fee the court finds is reasonable and necessary.

C.  The payment of expenses permitted by Paragraph B may not be made contingent on the placement of a child for adoption, relinquishment of the child, or consent to the adoption.

D.  Adoptive parents shall pay to the department any of the expenses listed in Paragraph B of this Article which may be imposed by the department.  Such payments shall be imposed solely at the discretion of the department. The department shall not include payment of the expenses listed in Paragraph B of this Article as a requirement for adoption.

E.  If a court determines from an accounting that an amount that is going to be or has been disbursed for expenses permitted by Paragraph B is unreasonable, it may order a reduction in the amount to be disbursed and order the person who received the disbursement to refund that portion.

F.  If a court determines from an accounting that an amount is going to be or has been disbursed for expenses not permitted by Paragraph B, it may:

(1)  Issue an injunction prohibiting the disbursement or order the person who received the disbursement to refund it.

(2)  Refer the case to the district attorney for the consideration of criminal charges pursuant to R.S. 14:286.

(3)  Refuse to approve the adoption, if in the best interest of the child.

G.  The court shall not issue a final decree of adoption until it has reviewed and approved the final accounting.

H.  A copy of the Adoption Disclosure Affidavit and all orders of the court pursuant to this Article shall be mailed to the office of children and family services, Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.

Acts 1991, No. 235, §12, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1999, No. 1062, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2000.



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