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What happens to your adopted child during divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Divorce

Many couples adopt to grow their families, but if they divorce, they may worry about how their children will adapt and what should happen to them. If your child is adopted by both you and your spouse, then you should know that they’ll be treated the same as any biological child would be. They will have a right to child support, for example, and need to be placed on a custody schedule.

In the case that a child was only adopted by one parent, there could be a case made to keep sole custody rather than setting up a visitation or custody schedule. However, depending on the circumstances, even that situation may require a custody schedule with both parents.

If you adopted a stepchild, you will be treated the same as their biological parent. So, even though you are technically not related by blood, you will be able to assert your right to custody and maintain a parent-child relationship. If you didn’t adopt your stepchild, you may still petition for visitation if you have a strong parent-child relationship. The difference in that case is that the court may only grant you visitation rights if it thinks that doing so is in your child’s best interests.

Does a child ever get “unadopted?”

No, there is no way to undo an adoption other than to give up your parental rights or to have those rights stripped. Even if you don’t want to continue being the child’s parent after a divorce, you will still be treated as if this child is your biological child. You’ll also be legally responsible for supporting them until they reach the age of 18, are out of high school or meet other preset requirements by law.

An adoption is often difficult for a child, so you need to consider carefully how to approach a divorce and how it may impact them. The court will want to see that you are doing what’s in your child’s best interests. If they are fully adopted, then you should not have to worry about losing your right to parent your child, though you may need to negotiate the terms of child custody.

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