Adopting a child is a beautiful experience. When you do so, you think that your little family will remain together forever. Sometimes, this isn’t the case. There is a chance that you will face a divorce down the road. If this happens, you might be faced with having to help an adopted child adjust to another major life upheaval.
When you are going through this situation, you have to keep your focus on the children involved. There are some important things that you need to consider as you work through the matter with your children.
Reassure the child
While children who were adopted as babies might not remember the life they had before the adoption, older children might. The changes that come with a divorce can bring up feelings of abandonment. The child might also fear the changes coming. Even though it is unlikely, they may think they are going back into foster care. You will have to reassure your child that you are still going to be there and that you are still a family, just a family that is in a different form.
Mediate child custody matters
When you adopted the child, you and your spouse agreed to raise the child as your own. This doesn’t stop because you decided to divorce. Instead, you will have to work through the child custody matters just the same as you would have to do for a biological child. Often, mediating these matters is the best option since it puts you and your ex in control. As parents, you know the children and can make the decisions you need to based on that knowledge.
Keep the structure
One thing that can help adopted children go through the divorce is to keep the structure to which they are accustomed. Co-parenting, which involves consistent rules between both homes, is often an ideal situation. It gives children the stability they need while not requiring that the parents remain in the same home. This can help adopted children to feel better about the divorce.
In order to make this type of parenting relationship work, you and your ex will have to work closely together. This isn’t always easy but with mutual respect and a focus on the children, it is often possible. Having a detailed child custody agreement might make this a little easier.