Divorce is a reality for many families, and sadly, adoptive families are not immune. Although the process to determine child custody is relatively the same for all families, adoptive parents often face the additional stress of wondering how the divorce will affect their adopted children, who may have already experienced the loss of their original family.
For adoptive families who are considering divorce, it is important to move forward with a co-parenting plan that includes:
- Cooperative Co-Parenting: Make an effort to keep both parents in the child’s life and maintain consistency with rules and routines.
- Counseling: Allow a child to speak to a professional, which could help them to work through fears and emotional issues.
- Offer continuous reassurance: Let the child know that the divorce is not their fault, and both parents will always be in their life.
Use caution with new relationships: Promote stability by making sure your child does not become attached to someone who will not be around long-term.
Step Parent Adoption
When parents with an adopted child split up, both parents usually maintain their legal parenting rights to make decisions regarding their child. However, just like when biological parents divorce, one parent may be awarded full-time custody and the other visitation.
Yet, with divorce on the rise, there are more and more blended families. In many of these households, there are adults who have taken on the parenting role for the children of their new spouse. Although step-parents, by every definition of the word, are fulfilling the role of a true parent, they may have no legal rights to custody, unless a child is legally adopted. Unfortunately, in many cases, step-parent adoption is just not possible, because the other parent is still active in the child’s life.
When courts make decisions about custody issues, what is in the best interest of the child always takes precedence. When a child has one biological parent and one step-parent who has legally adopted the child, custody decisions will be based on the length of time the step-parent has been involved in the child’s life, and how long the step-parent has been a legal parent. However, step-parents should expect that, unless there are extenuating circumstances, preference will be given to the biological parent.
Divorce During Adoption
Children are often put up for adoption because the biological parents want a better life for their child than they are able to give. More times than not, the mother of a child may be single, struggling, and in search of a home that can offer a stable environment for the child. If the divorce is occurring before the adoption is finalized, the biological parents or the judge could have a right to stop the adoption.
Baltimore County Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Assist Adoptive Parents with Child Custody Arrangements
To discuss how your divorce could affect the custody of your adopted child, or for assistance with any other family law matter, consult with a Baltimore County divorce lawyer at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC. With offices conveniently located in Towson and Hunt Valley our lawyers are ready to assist families throughout Maryland, including the communities of Cockeysville, Lutherville Timonium, Upper Falls, Phoenix, Riderwood, Sparks Glencoe, Brooklandville, Butler, Stevenson, Glyndon, Monkton, Reisterstown, Pikesville, Owings Mills, Parkville, Boring, Glen Arm, Baldwin, Upperco, and Hyde. To schedule your free consultation today, call us at 443-589-0150 or contact us online.