Outrageous. This is another example of the subtle, pervasive stereotyping of single moms - that we're all stupid and got pregnant as teenagers - that I'm always soapboxing about.
The fee is assessed beginning Oct 2007. Fee is waived if you've ever received TANF or AFDC.
Oh, I should clarify:
"[The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005] requires states to impose an annual fee of $25 on families who have never received TANF assistance in child support cases with collections of at least $500. States have four options: (1) retain the fee from collected support; (2) charge the individual applying for services; (3) recover the fee from the absent parent; or (4) pay the fee out of state funds."
How do you know if, in your particular state, you'll be charged the fee? Some people have reported getting notices from their child support agency that say so. I just Googled "Mystate Deficit Reduction Act TANF child support" and turned up a link for my state (yup, I get to pay $25/year). Most states are apparently charging the support-recipient parent, either because (a) it's easiest to get our money, since we are getting a monthly amount, or (b) we are being "punished" for getting pregnant, regardless of circumstances. Based on the pro-marriage crap programs this money supports, I actually believe (b). Bush thinks we're all stupid, unmarried teens who can't keep our legs closed.
cross-posted from my journal