Adoptive parents have the opportunity to choose a child to become part of their family. Once the adoption is finalized, these children are treated by law in the exact same manner as biological children. This means that if the adoptive parents decide to divorce, they will have to work out child custody terms.
Children who are adopted as newborns or infants may not have any extra challenges if their parents divorce. Those who were school-age or older may fear the changes that are coming, partly because they remember life before adoption. They may be worried that the divorce means their adoptive parents will give them up. Here are a few things you can do to help an adopted children handle the news of the divorce.
Tell your child together
You and your co-parent should tell your child about the divorce together so they can ask questions and get answers from both parents. This is also a good start to the new relationship of parenting team instead of romantically involved parents.
Reassure them that you’re committed to raising them
Let your child know that both parents are going to remain active parts of their life. They may assume that they’ll be abandoned, so be sure you stick to your word. Never promise anything unless you know you can do it.
Ensure that they don’t blame themselves
Children will sometimes blame themselves when their parents divorce. This thought may be more intense for adopted children because they could start to associate the divorce with their birth family “giving them away.” They may begin to feel like they’re the biggest problem in any family.
Make sure you get the parenting plan in order quickly. This helps you and your co-parent know their responsibilities, and it lets your child have some stability in their new situation. The parenting plan terms must reflect what your child needs now because they can be changed in the future.