Children who are adopted after they’re old enough to remember life in foster care often have very intense fears of being abandoned. They’re usually thrilled to get adopted, but the stability that they thought they could count on may be shaken if problems start between their adoptive parents.
Parents who have adopted children have to think carefully about how they’re going to handle the situation with the children if they’re going through a divorce. Child custody matters are handled the same with adopted children as they are with biological kids. The difference is that the adopted children might need a bit more reassurance.
How can you help adopted children cope?
Ideally, both parents will talk to the children together about the upcoming divorce. This enables the kids to see that they will still have the support of both adults they’ve come to count on. It might also help if you outline what life will be like in the future. As you do this, be sure that you only provide facts. Don’t make promises that you won’t be able to keep.
You also need to give the children a chance to ask questions. Normalize speaking about their emotions so the children know that they can turn to either parent for help working through how they’re feeling. It’s also a good idea to let their support system know what’s going on.
Any parent who’s divorcing should ensure they’re planning with their children’s needs in mind. One of the most important things that you can do is to get the parenting plan in order quickly. This enables everyone to get the new schedules and way of doing things established quickly. It might be necessary to get creative with some of the terms, so working with someone who’s familiar with cases similar to yours may be beneficial.