Birth and Adoption

Having a child, either by birth or by adoption, can be one of the most exciting times of your life. At the same time, bringing a baby into your life can be stressful, especially in the ways it affects your income and finances.

By taking some time now to become informed, you can save yourself some of the worry and begin to put all of the necessary plans in place.

A Few Things to Consider

  • How much maternity/paternity leave can you take, and how much of it will be paid? Did you know that you may be entitled to protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

To learn more about FMLA, visit: www.dol.gov/dol/topic/benefits-leave/fmla.htm

  • Have you arranged for health insurance for your new baby?

To learn more about health care for baby, visit: www.womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/getting-ready/health-care-baby.html

  • Do you have a savings account for your child?

To learn more about opening a savings account for you or your child, visit:

  • What is the best way to save for your child's education? Do you know the benefits of a 529 Plan or Coverdell Education Savings Account?

To learn more about saving for college, visit: www.mycreditunion.gov/what-credit-unions-can-do/Pages/Saving-for-College.aspx

For more information of 529 Plans, visit: www.sec.gov/investor/pubs/intro529.htm

For more information of Coverdell Education Savings Accounts, visit: www.irs.gov/publications/p970/ch07.html

  • How can you take advantage of the tax breaks available to parents?

For more information on tax breaks for parents, visit: www.irs.gov/Individuals/Parents

  • Should you buy life insurance? And if so, how much?

For more information on life insurance, visit: www.usa.gov/topics/health/insurance/disability-life.shtml

  • Should you write a will?

For more information on writing a will, visit: www.usa.gov/family-legal#item-212733

  • Does your employer offer a Dependent Care Flex Savings Account?

To learn more about Dependent Care Benefits, visit: www.mycreditunion.gov/Pages/pocket-cents-dependent-care.aspx

What Every Parent Should Know About Social Security

Parents play a critical role in the success of the Social Security program. The program is designed to ensure continuing income to families when a worker retires, dies, or becomes disabled.

To get the most of Social Security's family protection features, it's important that you as a parent are aware of such things as who can get benefits on your Social Security record, how to build Social Security credits over your working life, and how to obtain and use Social Security information in planning family financial security.

Baby's First Number

Getting your child a Social Security number should be near the top of the list of things you need to do as a new parent. Your child's Social Security number is just the beginning of the valuable protection and benefits he or she may be eligible for in the future. Applying for a Social Security card and number for your newborn is voluntary, but your child needs a Social Security number if you plan to:

  • Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return;
  • Open a credit union account;
  • Buy savings bonds;
  • Obtain medical coverage; or
  • Apply for some kind of government services for your child.

You can apply when the baby is born or you can wait until later. It's easy to apply at birth. When you give the information for your baby's birth certificate, you'll be asked if you want to apply for a Social Security number for your baby. If you say "yes," you'll need to provide both parents' Social Security numbers. They’ll assign your baby a number and mail the Social Security card directly to you.

If you want to wait to apply for your baby's number, please read Social Security Numbers for Children.