Divorce for Adopted Children

Divorce nearly always brings up considerable emotions and insecurities in children. The family unit they’ve known is no longer. They may feel that they’ve taken a backseat to their parents’ animosity towards one another. Or, they may believe that they have to side with one parent over another. And in some situations, a parent may give false information that the other parent doesn’t care about them.

For adopted children, divorce may multiply all of these emotions and feelings of insecurity many times over. Even when divorcing parents do their best to assure their adopted kids during and after the divorce.

Parents of Adopted Children Need to Be Sensitive

Of course, every adoption situation is different, so no two adopted children will react the same way to a divorce. As a result, kids who’ve been adopted may have spent years in the foster system. They may have moved from family to family before finding their forever home. Or they may have come from an abusive, negligent home. As a result, when faced with threats to the security they finally thought they could count, they may question what their parents’ break-up will mean for them.

Divorcing parents of adopted kids need to be particularly sensitive to their children’s feelings and assure them that just because the parents don’t live together in the same house anymore, the kids are welcome and loved in both homes.

Don’t Let Your Guilt Guide You

Of course, divorce for adopted children can leave adoptive parents with a sense of guilt as well. This is especially true if they have some contact with the children’s biological parents. They may feel that they’ve disappointed them and all those who made the adoption possible.

However, divorced parents can provide just as much love and stability to children as married parents can. If unhappiness and conflict fills your marriage, it may actually be better for the kids if the parents go their separate ways. But it is still important that parents remain committed to their children.

If you need assistance in helping your adopted children get through the divorce, your Rhode Island family law attorney can likely provide you with recommendations for therapists and/or support groups in your area.

Source: Our Family Wizard, “Divorce With Adopted Children,” accessed Feb. 07, 2017

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