Woman must pay child support to adopted son she sent back

California readers may recall the infamous case in which an adoptive mother changed her mind and sent her son back to his homeland alone. Recently she was sued for child support by the agency responsible for her international adoption. The suit claimed that the woman owed $150,000 in child support for the boy, who now lives in a group home back in Russia.

The child was sent back to his country after his adoptive mother claimed that he had exhibited violent behavior. Saying that she no longer wished to be his mother, the 7-year-old was sent packing, placed alone on an airplane to return to his country with a letter explaining her decision. The adoptive mother has not faced criminal charges relating to the matter.

The child support claim was resolved in large part because the woman failed to respond when the case first came to court in Tennessee. This led to a default ruling that essentially granted the child support request of the adoption agency. It was not until after a judgment was already obtained that she sought to intervene, but the judge upheld the default judgment he had previously granted.

Child support orders are most often granted against a non-custodial parent. In many California cases the order requires that payments be made monthly until a child reaches the age of adulthood, and in some instances beyond that date. It was not noted if the woman will be required to make ongoing payments for the care of her son. Regardless, unless there are further developments in this unusual case, she will be required to pay the child support as ordered. Those facing claims for child support may benefit from understanding that it is rarely wise to ignore legal proceedings concerning claims for payment, especially due to the fact that enforcement measures for past-due child support include the possibility of jail time.

Source: nytimes.com, "Tennessee: Ex-Adoptive Mother Must Pay Support," July 13, 2012

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