When applying to become adoptive parents, rarely do couples think their marriage will end in divorce with the help of divorce lawyers in Arlington, TX, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC. The application process for adoption is intense. Your entire life is put up for scrutiny to ensure that you both will be what is best for this child. Divorce is never something that is intended, but the reality is, adoptive parents aren’t immune from divorce. This situation becomes increasingly complex due to the very nature of adoption. In this post, we’ll discuss three things you need to know about divorce and adoption.
Your timing matters
As mentioned before, adoptive couples are put under the microscope when they are apply to become parents. This excess stress could be damaging to a marriage that’s already on unstable footings. If the divorce occurs while the adoption is still in progress, it could heavily impact the agency or birth parent’s decision to let the couple adopt. A couple who is recently divorce, or divorcing, is not seen as stable and therefore may not be the right place for the child.
If the divorce occurs after the child has been adopted, the process is the same as if the child was biologically their own.
You are now co-parents
Your rights and responsibilities as a parent do not go away once you are divorced. While you may not be a couple anymore, you are still going to have to find a way to establish a relationship as co-parents. This means that whichever parent is awarded custody has the right to decide where the child is educated, where they live, and how they are raised. If joint custody is awarded, then a schedule will be determined based on what is best for the child.
It’s important that you not take any anger for your spouse out on your adoptive child or try to make your child pick sides in the divorce. Adoptive children can already be in a fragile state mentally, and adding this stressor could be detrimental to their mental stability.
Your child should be priority
While divorce is tricky when it comes to biological children, it’s especially difficult when there are adopted children involved. Many adopted children suffer from cases of abandonment. They don’t understand why their birth parents gave them up for adoption and many times wonder if it was somehow their fault. Divorce only increases these feelings. Adopted children can be more sensitive during a divorce because it could resurface the feelings of abandonment.
Make your children’s feelings a priority. Don’t talk bad about the other parent around your children. Ensure them that happiness can still exist even in the midst of a tough situation. Show them that you are still a family even though you may live in two different locations. Don’t date or bring anyone new into their life for at least a year. Give them time to adjust to the new normal of life. Most importantly, show and tell them that they are loved and that this was in no way their fault.
Even though divorce and adoption is a tough situation, there are things you can do to help ensure a smoother transition to this new way of life. These three things will help you understand your responsibility as a parent, what your child is feeling, and what you can do to help them cope.