When you adopt a child, you want to give them as stable of an environment as possible, and a divorce can feel like you’re throwing a wrench into meeting that goal. However, getting a divorce doesn’t make you any less of a parent, and you’ll still be able to provide your child with the environment they need to thrive. Understandably, adoptive parents are often left with the question of what happens when they get a divorce.
Adoptive Parent’s Rights Still Remain
Even if adoptive parents are seeking a divorce, this doesn’t automatically remove their rights as parents, and it doesn’t allow the biological parents to seek a new arrangement. Once the adoption process is complete, they are your child, and the birth parents do not have a say in what occurs after the fact. However, there is the caveat of divorce during adoption.
Many biological parents looking to give their child up for adoption want the child to grow up in a two-parent household that they deem stable. If you get a divorce during the adoption process, and the biological parent gets notified, they may choose to halt the adoption process, or the court may stop it altogether. Conversely, if the intent to divorce gets hidden from the biological parent, and they find out you intended to divorce the entire time, they may argue that their consent got based on fraud. The courts may deem it necessary to return the child to the biological parent, so it is in everyone’s best interest to remain open and honest.
Adopted Children Get Treated the Same
In general, adopted children get treated the same as biological children and have the same rights as they do. Just like biological children, they have the right to a guardian ad litem that will represent their interests and ensure the custody arrangement is to their benefit. In most cases, courts will try to come to an agreement that allows the child to see both parents and maintain a strong relationship. However, this doesn’t remove the chances of one parent becoming the primary caregiver, especially if the one parent primarily cares for the child or one parent has an irregular schedule. Ultimately, a court will do what it takes to uproot the child as little as possible.
Adopted Children Have a Right to Child Support
Adopted children also have the right to child support as any other child does, and the determinations get made similarly. The court will consider any special needs or extraordinary expenses and the parent’s income. In most cases, even if the child receives an adoption subsidy, that is the child’s property, and the paying parent will still have to pay child support. However, there are exceptional cases in which the court may distribute and assign an amount between the parents based on their income and parenting time.
If you’re still uncertain about what happens when adoptive parents get a divorce, have questions, or need legal advice regarding your separation, Northern Legal is here to help. We’re a divorce law firm based in Amarillo, Texas, that can help give you the legal support and representation you need to make this life transition go as smoothly as possible.