Job Loss, COVID-19, and the Adoption Process
Millions of jobs have been lost because of the COVID-19 pandemic, derailing the lives of many and pressing pause on the important life plans of even more. Many pre-adoptive parents have been laid off, some of whom were relatively far along in the adoption process. If you’ve been laid off due to COVID-19, you must understand how your change in circumstances could impact your adoption.
Impacting Household Income
One of the primary ways that COVID-related job loss can impact your adoption is by reducing your annual household income. The good news for most pre-adoptive parents is that while income is a factor, the thresholds set by most agencies are relatively low. The agencies aren’t looking for only the incredibly wealthy but rather for those people who have enough money to pay their bills and to take care of the children that they choose to adopt. As such, you may experience less of an impact from your job loss than you might fear.
With that said, potential adoptive parents may be required to report their change in income to the adoption agency. If the income change is enough that you are no longer able to pay for your costs of living, you might find it difficult to continue with your adoption. In most cases, though, adoption agencies tend to look at your overall ability to pay rather than the difference between what you originally made and what you make now. Households with more than one income tend to be mostly unaffected by a job loss, although those with significant debts may still find themselves dealing with adoption problems.
Losing your job during COVID-19 doesn’t just impact your income—it can also impact your housing situation. If you have to move because of a drop in income, you may find that certain parts of the adoption process are impacted. While adopting a child during COVID-19 is hard enough on its own, having to go back and conduct basic things like home inspections can make the process seem significantly harder. This is, however, an unfortunate necessity if you move.
The good news is that the lost job won’t have much of an impact on your adoption on this front if you are still able to move into a space that is suitable for your child. It’s vital to remember that caseworkers aren’t looking to see that you are living in a mansion. They just want to see that you are living in a safe and suitable place that will help your child develop properly as he or she ages. With that said, any major changes in your status should be discussed with your New Jersey adoption attorney so that you can prepare for any questions that the adoption agency might have.
Causing Processing Delays
At the very least, there is a chance that losing your job is going to impact the speed at which your paperwork goes through. Any changes to your status may cause the adoption agency with which you work to reassess your adoption process, though the good news is that you won’t necessarily find yourself having to start all over just because you’ve found yourself without a job.
Processing delays do, however, play a role in how your adoption plays out. Adopting a child usually requires going through several potential steps, and each step does require completing the step before. If your processing gets held up, you might find it more difficult to move forward with your next step. If you were let go from your job during COVID, you might find that you have to take a few steps back from your current position in the adoption process so that your paperwork can be adjusted.
Losing your job can be difficult no matter the circumstances, and doing so while going through the adoption process is often even worse. If you are currently a pre-adoptive parent who is struggling with how job loss will impact your adoption plans, you don’t have to fight alone. Make sure to contact the office of Cofsky & Zeidman in Haddonfield or Woodbury, New Jersey, by phone at (856) 429-5005 or (856) 845-2555 or through the firm’s contact page to get the help you need from a New Jersey adoption attorney today.