How does divorce affect adopted children?

Like many people in South Carolina, you may have chosen to open your home to a  parentless child by means of adoption. According to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, there are fewer restrictions than most people believe, and anyone 21 years of age or older may apply to adopt a child. However, adopted kids often have special emotional needs and if you and your spouse have decided to divorce, it could affect your adopted child in ways that you never expected. 

It is important to understand that in the eyes of the law, an adopted child is generally treated no differently than biological children when it comes to divorce. The courts cannot force you to return your adopted child and he or she is entitled to the same protection as any other children that were born as the result of your marital union. For example, you can ask for child support, medical care coverage and other child support from the court, whether you plan to share custody of the adopted child with your ex-spouse or not. 

While there are few laws that might impact your adopted child, the emotional effects may be significant. If your child was adopted at a later age, for instance, he or she might have renewed feelings of abandonment and anger over the divorce, or the child might feel at fault, especially if the divorce was the reason he or she was placed in foster care. Open communication with your child may help reduce these feelings and offer reassurance that all the children in the family will continue to receive love and support from both parents, no matter their origin. 

This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.