Adoption

Adoption

When Child Welfare Is Not Involved

It permanently terminates the birthparents’ rights as a parent and is not revokable. This can be both an advantage and disadvantage, but some kinship families do not want to change the legal relationship. They want to remain the grandparent or aunt. 

Advantages

Disadvantages

  • An ongoing relationship can continue between the child and the birthparent but you get to define the nature of this relationship until the child is old enough to decide for themself. 
  • Introducing the idea of adoption may make it harder to work out a mutually agreeable custody arrangement between you and the parents because it sets up an adversarial relationship from the beginning. 
  • It can be costly if the parents contest the adoption. The cost can be offset by the federal Adoption Tax Credit. (link to that section)

Adoption

When Child Welfare Is Involved

Advantages

  • Once the adoption is finalized, the child’s parents cannot regain custody. It is permanent. 
  • Adoption Assistance and post adoption support services are available. 
  • You are eligible for the Federal Adoption Tax Credit which reduces the amount of federal income tax you have to pay. It is a credit rather than a deduction, which means that it is a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your total tax liability. This amount varies by year, find current rates. When you adopt a child who has been in foster care, you can claim the full deduction even if they have not incurred any cost associated with the adoption. 
  • The child can inherit from you and can receive Social Security survivor’s benefits. 
  • Most employer based health insurance policies allow children to be added to your health insurance coverage, and this includes adopted children. 
  • You can decide who the child will be raised by if you die. 

Disadvantages

  • Adoption requires terminating the child’s parents’ parental rights. It can be painful to acknowledge that the child’s parent will likely not be able to parent in the future. You can still maintain a relationship with the child’s parents with you dictating the terms based on what you think is in the child’s best interest. 
  • You must establish appropriate boundaries with the child’s birth parents that are in the best interest of the child. In guardianship the order specifies what the parents can and can’t do. With adoption you are going to be responsible for creating those boundaries. 

*Not Intented as Legal Advice