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Who pays when a child is adopted?

June 18, 2013

One reader of this blog enquired about whether he’d still be liable 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 you can bring your obligations to pay child support to an end.

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Adoption of your child is one situation where your child support obligations will end. 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 lose all rights and responsibilities you had in respect to your child, including the legal obligation to pay child support.

It is important that you realise you lose all rights and responsibilities you had with regard to the child. This means you no longer are legally recognised as a parent of that child. You lose any legal right to be involved in decisions about that child’s upbringing and the legal right to seek 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. You should obtain legal advise when considering such a step.

What is the situation if you adopt a child? If you have adopted a child, then the reverse is true. Upon an adoption, you assume all the legal rights and responsibilities for the child that you would have had were you its 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.

Want assistance to resolve a child support or family law problem? Let the team of specialist family lawyers at Family Law Results help you. You can find out more at

One Comment
  1. john permalink

    My biological mother and her Husband adopted me..
    She has never made a affiliation or Maintenance order against my Biological Father.

    My above parents separated after a brief marriage

    My Biological Mother brought me up as a single mum..for most of my life.

    My Biological father passed away 3 months ago.. leaving behind a billion dollar empire in Sydney.

    Is there any possibility to apply for a affiliation or maintenance order on his estate..

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