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3 Bumps

Can you be a foster parent or adopt with bad credit? What about Bankruptcy?

Several years ago I overextended myself majorly helping out my then boyfriend with his 3 teenaged sons. He wasn't working at the time and their Mother abandoned them at their house with no electricity, no food, no running water etc. They came to us with the clothes on their backs, shoes with giant holes in them and that was it. I spent several hundred dollars when they came getting them clothes, new shoes, beds and a some basics. I am not wealthy by any means, but I couldn't get any assistance from anybody, their father refused to apply for aid because he was too embarrassed, the county wouldn't let me apply because they weren't my children and their mother was still getting welfare for the three of them. With 3 teenage boys in the house, our food bill topped $700 per month. I tried food banks, but they would only give us 2 small grocery bags full of stuff once a month. I was making pretty good money and it was important to me to take care of these kids, so I kept on for several months. Their father still refused to help or even get a job. I kept on getting more and more credit to take care of them. I was told I would be able to claim in them on my taxes, however, that turned out to not be the case when all was said and done. After 6 months I was heavily in debt and the kids ended up moving in with their uncle because they didn't want to go to school, which was a requirement at my house. After all that, I tried a credit counseling program to get back on track, which ended up making my finances worse because I was paying them a big chunk of money but 4 creditors wouldn't accept their payment terms so that wasn't working. I work for the State of California and then we got hit hard by furlough days were I lost almost $850 a month. Then I was on disability for almost 10 months due to a heart problem and was unable to pay many of my bills. So, all in all I owe about $80,000 and while I am back at work now and my health is 95% better, I am still deeply in debt. Repayment could take years and years. I am considering bankruptcy for a number of reasons. However, I am concerned that if I file I will be making it impossible to adopt or foster later on. Does anyone know what the rules about credit/bankruptcy issues in California?

Answer Question

Asked by hargonagain at 6:20 PM on Oct. 9, 2011 in Adoption

Level 4 (44 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Adopt - Probably not, but it won't hurt to look into it.

    Foster - YES! You can also adopt through the foster care system.


    Answer by FreeForAll at 6:22 PM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • I don't know why you can't. My Aunt lives in Sacramento, works for the state, filed bankruptcy and adopted 2 kids.

    Answer by emmyandlisa at 6:24 PM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • The only thing we has to do is show my husband was working. Sounds like you have a full plate, please think long and hard if you are ready to get into all this. I mean no disrespect, this is just an observation based on what you've written.

    Answer by adopteekjt at 6:57 PM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • Good for you and your kind heart on so many levels. You did so much to help his kids when he was too embarrassed to get help for them himself. I hope your kind heart does not work against you in the future if you plan to either become a foster mom or adoptive parent. I hope that your credit will not make a differenceas long ad you can prove that you can, financially and emotionally care for children. Good luck to you.

    Answer by MsRickie at 7:05 PM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • I actually have a child in my custody now, he is 4 years old, I have had him since he was two days old and he was placed with me by his birth mother, a friend of the family. I am taking care of him 100% on my own, since my attorney advised me not to get any assistance for him so they couldn't say I couldn't afford him. While we do fine, I just don't have any extra money to pay off off these old debts. I am working on getting him into full time preschool and once that happens that will free up the $400 per month I am paying for daycare, but still, paying $400 a month towards $80,000 is going to take forever and I want to start the process to legally adopt him but have been afraid due to my credit.

    Comment by hargonagain (original poster) at 8:04 PM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • If you do a private adoption, I don't even think they will check your credit they will want your current bills and current income. If I were you I would file bankrupt and wait a year and then adopt. You went into debt trying to help a set of children, you have pulled yourself out of a hole, you learned that credit counseling can't help (because creditors don't have to work with them) and you back on your feet. Good luck to you.

    Answer by matthewscandi at 10:09 PM on Oct. 9, 2011

  • IDK. But you're a good person and I wish you every luck in the world.

    Answer by onethentwins at 6:47 AM on Oct. 10, 2011

  • I'm not sure - but will give you a bump!

    Answer by isismoon3 at 4:21 PM on Oct. 25, 2012

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