It is estimated over 281,426 children were adopted in 2021. This gives an insight into how well children are being adopted year in and out. It is a big and sensitive decision to make as an intended parent to adopt. When the adoption process is finalized it is a thing of joy to grow your family and have a child in your home.
It gets tough on you when you are going through a divorce and you have grown so attached to the child. You start to think if the adoption would be canceled because of your divorce. The emotional hurdle that comes with it can be terrible.
Whilst all of your emotions are valid, it is important to understand from a legal standpoint for a solution. This is where involving divorce lawyers come in. Divorce is already a long, emotional and legally complex process. Having to combine it with adoption processes can be quite difficult.
It’s important to deal with a lawyer who is knowledgeable in both adoption law and divorce law if you’re going through a divorce and thinking about adopting a child. A divorce lawyers with experience in both adoption and divorce law may guarantee that both legal processes are handled correctly and that any potential problems or conflicts are resolved in a way that is successful.
If an adoption is tied to the dissolution of the marriage, such as if the divorcing couple is adopting a child, a divorce lawyer could under certain circumstances be able to help.
Thus, seeking guidance from a divorce lawyer would help with the process and help you not to jeopardize your adoption.
This article addresses your concerns and what can be done with adoption during a divorce.
Divorce and Adoption
An adopted child becomes your child just like a biological child. This means the law recognizes the child as yours. It is inconsequential whether it is your biological or adopted child. You are mandated to treat the child just the way you would your biological children. Thus, the child enjoys the same privileges and care with you as your biological child.
A divorce between parents ends the relationship between the parents. They are no longer under legal partnership under the law. This does not automatically end the rights and obligations each parent has towards their children. This includes adopted children. Some of those obligations include: Looking after the welfare of the child as regards education, health and other areas of the child’s life.
This responsibility continues even after the divorce. The law doesn’t look at your adopted child differently from your biological child. This will not change when you get a divorce from your partner. The only thing that might be considered and slightly different is the custody of the children. This is what is majorly affected by divorce.
This is particularly difficult when the parents of the child do not agree to the custody of the child. Who takes custody of such a child?
The Welfare of the Child and Divorce
There is no hard and fast rule about if adoption would be canceled upon divorce. However, it is majorly considered divorce does not in any way affect adoption.
The court considers majorly the welfare of the child before canceling an adoption. This is in rare cases where there is a possibility the child’s welfare would not be met after a divorce.
Although under the law there is nothing that can affect adoption during a divorce. It is important to put some things in place to protect the well-being of the child which is your primary objective as a parent. This is important because if the well-being of the child is compromised because of the divorce, it can affect the adoption and it can be canceled.
You would have to prepare the child emotionally for the divorce. Divorce is never easy on the parents and can be tougher on the adopted child. This is because before being adopted such a child might have gone through emotional trauma due to separation from their biological family.
Divorce might seem to them like a repeated cycle and make them feel unwanted. So, it is very important to prepare them emotionally. This helps prevent any form of an issue coming up later that might cancel the adoption.
You can help the child by taking them to therapy. You can do this jointly with your divorced partner. This shows the adopted child you both care for him and that he is not the reason for the divorce. You can even consider family therapy. This means attending therapy together as a family.
This doesn’t in any way affect the divorce but is mainly for the welfare of the child.
This also enables you as parents to parent the child effectively as the law expects and meet the needs of the child emotionally.
Custody of the Adopted Child During Divorce
It has been established divorce does not in any way undo the adoption of a child. However, the court considers and makes decisions in the best interest of the child. This includes making orders such as custody, placement and child support of such a child.
This is what is done even if there is a biological child involved. This has no regard for the adopted status of the child.
If the divorcing couple has a well-thought-out plan for the child as regards the custody of the child they can present it to the court. The court after careful evaluation will award custody accordingly.
Where the divorced parties do not have an agreement as regards the child custody the case may go to litigation. This is where the court determines who gets primary custody of the child. In determining this, the best interests of the child are considered.
This doesn’t mean the person that doesn’t get primary custody will not have access to the child. There would be child visitation by such a parent as their parental right.
Since the interest of the child takes priority there is various child support provided by the government.
To avoid adoption being canceled it is best to prepare ahead and put in place strategies to cater for the adopted child. This prevents any form of mishap that can happen when the child’s welfare is considered during the divorce process. Thus, primarily adoption is not canceled because of divorce.
However, it might be canceled if the child’s best interest is jeopardized by the divorce. Essentially,it is always best to seek the advice of an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that your adoption does not get canceled.