The Financial Implications of Adopting A Partner's Child

Sep 01, 2021

Adopting a step-child is an extremely special decision a step-parent can make. This decision shouldn't be made lightly, though. The financial responsibilities that come with adopting a child should be taken into consideration and planned out before jumping in.

Keep these points in mind about your financial responsibilities if you decide to adopt:


  • It’s always best to talk to an attorney in these matters. State laws dominate family law. Be sure to contact an attorney in your state.
  • You’re legally obligated to provide for that child. As a general rule, an adopted child becomes just as much your responsibility as your own biological child would be. This one tip is really all you have to keep in mind, as it covers everything else.
  • In the event of a divorce, you would still have to provide for the child. In most cases, this would mean child support. On the positive side, you would also get certain rights, including visitation, should the relationship end with your partner.
  • The child could also be on any health insurance offered by your employer.
  • If you die intestate (without a will), the child would have as much claim to your estate as any of your biological children. This can be a real bone of contention when the time comes. It’s not uncommon for the biological children to be resentful.
  • The legal relationship between the child and the estranged biological parent is terminated upon the adoption. In most, but not all cases, that parent must consent to the adoption. This varies by state.
  • In many states, a new birth certificate is issued with you being listed as one of the two parents.

There are many things to consider before adopting your partner’s children. Be sure to contact an attorney and understand all of the financial and legal implications.

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