What Happens to an Adopted Child During Divorce?

young couple and their daughter visiting divorce lawyer in officeDivorces of any type become much more complex when children are involved. Whether the children are biological or adopted, custody and guardianship must be carefully considered. If you have adopted one or more children and you are considering divorce, your rights will be the exact same as if you were the child’s biological parent. Read on to learn what happens to an adopted child during divorce.

Adopted and Biological Children Have the Same Rights

Adopted and biological children share the same legal rights. Both get treated exactly the same during custody matters. This means that whether or not your divorce is finalized, your adopted children are entitled to support from you and your spouse. If an agreement cannot be reached, a judge will consider multiple factors when creating a custody agreement for the adopted children. These factors generally include the following:

  • Age of children
  • Children’s wishes
  • Parental preferences
  • Living accommodations
  • Co-parenting issues
  • Majority caregiver
  • Location of parents
  • Allegations of abuse or neglect

Taking Custody of Adopted Children

It is extremely important to keep any court papers regarding custody that you receive. You can use documented court orders to arrange visitation with your child. Just remember that during the divorce, you will follow a temporary custody agreement. You can hopefully have the agreement adjusted toward your preferences as the divorce is finalized.

It is very important to follow all the stipulations listed in the custody papers. Violating custody orders can result in serious consequences, such as contempt of court and possibly losing custody of your child.

Can Biological Parents Contest an Adoptive Parent Divorce?

In some instances, adopted children communicate with their biological parents as they grow up. Perhaps when the child was adopted, the biological parents assumed the adoptive parents would always stay married.

Just like biological parents, however, adoptive parents have the same right to divorce. And once finalized, the adoption process ensures the biological parents of an adopted child can never regain their biological rights. So, the answer is no.

Biological parents cannot contest a divorce taking place between the adoptive parents of a child they gave up. If they try to, it is important to contact an adoption attorney in Tulsa right away.

Can an Adopted Child Pick Which Parent To Live With?

Adopted children, just like biological children, in the state of Oklahoma always have the right to share their custodial preferences. They can talk to a judge or an adoption attorney in OKC about where they want to live and how much time they want to spend with the other parent. A judge or attorney will listen to a child and use those preferences when creating a custody arrangement.

How to Help a Child During a Divorce After Adoption

Whether your child is adopted or biological, follow these tips to help the child as much as possible during the divorce. The better your child’s well-being, the better the divorce will go.

Be Open

The most effective way to help your child is to be open and honest in your interactions with one another. Your kids should be told the simple facts about what led to the split, but do not sugarcoat it. Think ahead, communicate details with care, and always have important conversations in person as much as possible.


If the other parent is chronically late or absent, it causes the kids to wonder whether they are at fault. They reasonably assume the parent would want to spend time with them if only they were more entertaining or well-behaved. Your child does not need to hear anything negative from you about their other parent.  Save that for the Courtroom during your divorce litigation.

Stay Positive

While you may be feeling upset, it is best to refrain from speaking negatively about the other parent or placing blame on that person. The children’s affection and dependence on both parents are undeniable. They may feel horrible about themselves if they have a loyalty issue, which will prevent them from communicating openly. Each kid is a unique combination of their parents; therefore, it is important for them to feel loved and supported by both of them.

Talk to An Adoption Attorney in Oklahoma Today

During a custody case caused by a divorce, adopted children have the same rights as biological children. They can share their custodial preferences and influence custody arrangements. Contact Lisa R. Howard, P.L.L.C., today to discuss your divorce involving an adopted child.

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Law Office of Lisa R. Howard PLLC
7 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, Ste. 385
Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 12428
Oklahoma City, OK 73157

Phone: (405) 943-2500
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this Website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.