Divorce will likely have an affect on your living situation. This will include your child custody if you have children with your ex. If you have adopted children, you need to know if and how divorce will affect your child custody.

Does Divorce Affect Adoption?

Divorce can happen to couples that choose to adopt children. However, the way that divorce will affect adoption depends on when the divorce occurs in the adoption process. If a couple has already adopted a child, the divorce will not affect the adoption. However, if a couple trying to adopt files for divorce during the adoption process, it could affect the adoption. Once a child gets adopted, they have a legal relationship with both adoptive parents for life. This is not affected by a divorce that takes place once the adoption is legally complete.

Legal Responsibilities

The legal responsibilities and rights of the parents are as if the child was biologically theirs. Both parents are legally responsible to care for the child. Both parents are responsible to make decisions concerning schooling, religion, medical care, and social activities. The adopted child gets treated like a biological child. So, if divorce occurs, the process of obtaining child custody will be the same as for that of biological children.

In most divorces, parents share legal responsibility of their child through joint custody. This means that both parents retain the right to make decisions for the child. However, joint custody is not guaranteed. In some cases, one parent might get granted full custody through sole custody, or the child could be in the custody of a third party, such as a guardian. A parent that doesn’t have custody can get visitation rights, but they also might have to pay child support. If a couple that is trying to adopt a child decides to file for divorce, the situation might be different.

Adopting During Divorce

Adoption agencies try to place children in stable homes, and if a couple is going through a divorce, it might be determined that the child is better off somewhere else. The birth parents involved in adoption must terminate their rights as parents before adoption can take place. Sometimes, birth parents will only terminate their parental rights if they know that their child will get adopted by a married couple. The birth parents could refuse to give up their rights if they find out that the couple involved in adoption will get divorced.

Even if the birth parents have already given up their parental rights in the adoption process, a court will have final say as to how the adoption could be affected by the divorce. A court can decide to let the adoption proceed as planned, the adoption can be denied altogether, or the adoption can be modified so that one parent can adopt the child instead of both.