Child Support After Adoption
Birth parents frequently ask, “Do I still owe child support if my child has been adopted?” The simple answer is no, but there a few things that you should still understand about child support and adoption.
First and foremost, an adoption legally terminates parental rights. Once the child is adopted, whether by a stepparent or a third party, the birth parents’ parental obligations and rights are terminated, including the responsibility of financially supporting the child. The child support obligation ends, however, not when the birth parent surrenders his or her rights, but when the adoption is finalized and the order is filed with the court. In other words, expect to pay child support until the child’s adoption is finalized.
Additionally, an adoption does not erase arrears of child support. Accrued arrears, which are monies due for child support as mandated by a valid court judgment, are still due and owed. No adoption decree will eradicate these outstanding payments in child support. So, prepare to continue paying back child support even after your child is adopted.
Furthermore, your obligation to pay child support will not automatically end at a final hearing. After the final hearing, it is imperative that you contact the office that handles child support in your state and provide the appropriate documents to terminate the support, which usually will be the final order of adoption terminating parental rights. In the state of Georgia, the appropriate office to contact is the Division of Child Support Services.
While this article provides a general overview of how adoption may affect your child support responsibility, it is important to know how adoption will affect your specific child support obligations. To ensure your questions and concerns are fully answered, please contact Christina E. Campbell of The Campbell Law Practice, LLC to discuss your adoption needs.