Divorce when you have adopted children: What to remember

The decision to adopt a child isn’t something that any parent takes lightly — and parents aren’t likely to adopt in the first place unless they assume that their marriage is solid and will continue to be so for years to come.

Unfortunately, that’s not always how life works.

There are times when couples who adopt will face divorce down the road. What does this mean for the adopted children? The basic answer to this is fairly simple: Adopted children have the same child custody procedures as biological children. However, an adopted child might need a little more help than normal through their parents’ divorce.

Address the child’s need for stability

Children who were older when they were adopted might remember having to move around a lot. They may fear that the same thing will happen because of the divorce. You’ll need to reassure them that they aren’t losing their home. Try to show them what life will be like after the divorce, but make sure that you don’t make any promises that you can’t keep.

Reaffirm the family relationships

All children who go through their parents’ divorce may feel as though they are going to lose family members. Make it clear that the relationship between you and your spouse has nothing to do with each parent’s relationship with the child. They will continue to have two parents, and their family members remain the same — despite the changes in living arrangements.

Whether you have adopted children, biological children, or a combination of both, you need to ensure that the child custody agreement is set based on what’s best for the children. It’s best to get things handled based on what they need now since it’s possible to modify the orders in the future.