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Who Pays Child Support when a Child is Adopted?

A reader of this blog asked whether he’d still be required to pay child support for his child if that child was adopted by the child’s mother and her new husband.

Under our current Child Support laws, there are only a few circumstances in which your obligations to pay child support come to an end. Adoption of your child is one of those situations.

If your biological child is adopted to adoptive parents (of which you are not one), then you cease to be recognised in law as that child’s parent. This means you are no longer legal obliged to pay child support.

It is important that you realise that on your child being adopted, you lose all rights and responsibilities you have in respect to that child. This means you no longer are legally recognised as a parent of the child. You lose any legal right to be involved in decisions about the child’s upbringing and the legal right to have contact with the child or a relationship with that child. As such, it is a very drastic step to take in order to cease your child support liability and its repercussions are far reaching.

What is the situation if you adopt a child? If you have adopted a child, then the reverse situation occurs. Upon adopting the child, you are given all the legal rights and responsibilities for the child that you would have had were that child's biological parent. This includes the obligation to pay child support for the child. You will not be able to claim child support or any financial support from the child's biological parents (unless one of them adopted the child with you eg in the case where a parent and step parent adopt a child) as those parents' legal obligations end on the adoption.

The ramifications of adoption are considerable so if you are considering adopting a child or having your child adopted or you have concerns about child support, you should obtain specialist legal advice so that you make a fully informed decision before proceeding.

Thinking about adoption? We'd love to chat so book a free, initial 15 minute consultation with us now.

Names and any identifying information have been altered to protect the privacy of individuals. The information in this blog is current at 30 July 2021. The information in this blog is general, educative information only. As such, it should not be relied on in place of getting your own legal advice.

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