How Does Child Support Work With Adopted Children?
Parenting takes a lot of work, whether you are a biological or foster parent. The work never ends from diaper changes to ballet practice and career advice. If you want to add to your brood or adopt a child because you don’t have your own, you still need to pay for their care. In this case, the biological parent that gave up their care to you will not be responsible for paying child support.
Adoption vs. Foster Care
Contrary to popular belief, you do not get paid extra to take care of an adopted child. You get a stipend from the government if you foster a child, which can help offset the cost of their care. However, if you use it responsibly by ensuring it is used for child care expenses, that stipend will not benefit you financially. In most cases, it is insufficient in covering all child care expenses, so yes, adoption will cost you money.
Adoption is not the same as fostering a child. Once the process is over, the child will legally be your biological child in the eyes of the state. In other words, they will be your financial responsibility moving forward. You can expect to pay anywhere between $20,000 and $50,000 to adopt a baby. That is much more than if you gave birth yourself.
Once the adoption charges are taken care of, the costs you face to take care of an adopted child will be just as much as raising any other. Since you are not fostering the child (and they are not wards) of the state, you will not receive any stipends.
The bottom line is that you will not make any money by adopting a child. It is not a charitable act – it’s just one more way to grow your family with a child who is your own. By making this lifelong commitment, you are responsible for finding information and programs that benefit the child, not a caseworker.
Child Support for Foster Care
If a child is in foster care, on the other hand, the biological parent has to pay child support to the fostering family for their care. This includes:
- Household expenses such as food and utilities.
- Basic needs of the child such as clothing and toys.
- School supplies such as school fees, books, lessons, extracurricular activities, etc.
- Medical expenses such as dental care, glasses, and other needs.
Since child support is intended solely for the children, the parent should not use it for personal clothing, entertainment, dining, or other needs. It should not be used to purchase firearms, alcohol, or tattoos.
If you have money saved over in any given month, you should save it and use it to fulfill your child’s future needs. In every case, go through your parenting agreement and consult your child support lawyers in Schaumburg so you can determine who is responsible for what and what other expenses come under child support.
Foster families who adopt waiting children or become guardians of children under the care of the DCFS can receive subsidies to aid them post-adoption financially. This includes the following:
- A Medicaid card for medical expenses that Medicaid covers.
- Payment for non-recurrent expenses that emerge from the adoption and which cannot exceed $1,500 per child and $2,000 for guardianship.
- Monthly payments are determined as per the needs of the children and family circumstances. It cannot be more than the amount received in care.
- Daycare payments or reimbursement payments for the children’s mental, physical, and emotional needs are not covered by an insurance policy. It can also include conditions caused by a pre-existing condition. All services have to be approved by the DCFS to be eligible for payment.
- Daycare payments because of employment are available for children younger than three years of age. This is only applicable if the foster parent has a job or takes part in a training program to help them get gainful employment.
- Therapy for children who are disabled or who require special education services through an Individualized Education Plan, which another source cannot fund. In this case, the children in question must be unable to remain in a daycare program or service because of their special needs. The decision also needs to approve the DCFS, and the therapy provider should have appropriate credentials to provide therapeutic daycare services.
- Children who need respite care because of a delicate health condition or are medically fragile. To be eligible for a subsidy, the children have to be eligible as per the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) guidelines.
Which Foster Children Are Eligible For Adoption Aid
Many children in foster care are special needs, but that doesn’t mean they will cost more to take care of than any other child. It just means that they are eligible for adoption aid based on these factors:
- They are older children
- They have siblings who need to remain with them.
- They have a physical, emotional, or mental disability.
- They have a medical condition.
Before you adopt a special needs child, your caseworker will let you know if the child can qualify as one and the kind of aid they can receive. Don’t hesitate to reach out to them if you have queries about the process.
Foster Parents Are Not Paid For Adopting Children in Their Care
Whether foster or otherwise, adoptive parents receive reimbursement or subsidy when they adopt from foster care, so no, they don’t get paid to adopt a child. They only get paid to fulfill said child’s needs, and any government aid they receive is considered non-taxable because of this.
Foster or adoptive parents are eligible for an adoption tax credit if they incur certain adoption or child care expenses. However, the adoption process has to be finalized for them to be eligible. They have to prove that they can take care of children and are financially stable enough to take care of their basic needs. The best foster or adoptive parents are genuinely interested in helping a child in need and watching them thrive under their care through love that only a parent can give.
Step-Parents and Child Support
Most stepparents adopt their stepchildren as their own, and like any adoption, the duration of that relationship lasts till the parent and child’s life. Some stepparents who divorce their partner may forego child support by saying the child is not their biological child.
While stepparents are not duty-bound to support their stepchildren or pay child support after a divorce, they are legally obligated to do so even after their marriage with the biological parent ends.
This is understandable if we take Illinois adoption laws into account. As per the law, the legal parent of a child is anyone who is recognized as one under the eyes of the state. So a stepparent who adopts their spouse’s children has to fulfill the same rights and responsibilities that their biological parent will. Even if their marriage ends, the adoptive parent’s responsibilities towards the children do not whether the adoption was finalized a few days or years before the divorce.
See the situation from a biological parent’s point of view. They cannot prevent their spouse from visiting their children or seeking custody even if they are not biologically related. The former can do nothing to legally prevent him latter from having a relationship with their children.
In this case, the court will decide custody as per the children’s best interests without taking into account that the stepparent adopted the children. The only thing that can end that adoptive relationship is if the children are adopted in the future by a third party. All of the responsibilities of the children will fall on them then.
Contact the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov for a Child Support Consultation Today
If you are searching for experienced, dedicated, and compassionate child support lawyers in Schaumburg, look no further than the Law Office of Fedor Kozlov. We work closely with families at every stage of the adoption, divorce, and child support process to ensure the best results and that their rights are protected.
For more information on how we can help you and protect your family, contact us for a free consultation by dialing (847) 241-1299. One of our experienced attorneys will help you determine the best legal options you have at your disposal.
A divorce is not the end of the world. However, finding a way through it can be a challenge for you and your children. These disputes can cause several financial and emotional challenges you may not be able to overcome. With help from one of our dedicated lawyers, you can get back on your feet faster post-divorce and ensure your children are taken care of as well.
We focus exclusively on family law and have helped several families handle every type of legal conflict. All of our attorneys have a friendly and straightforward approach that will put you at ease. We understand how stressful the whole process can be and will be with you every step of the way. Get in touch with us for a consultation today!