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What should happen if you are divorcing with an adopted child?

You and your spouse adopted a child assuming that you would be married for a long time or perhaps for the rest of your lives. Now, you are seeking a divorce and have to decide how to move forward with the best interests of your child in mind.

Adoption and divorce can be very complex for adopted children. Some adopted children do feel a sense of abandonment when they are put up for adoption in the first place, and now this divorce could reignite those feelings. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your child get through this difficult time with the least emotional damage.

First, embrace co-parenting. Your child wants to know that he or she is loved by both parents. Being angry at your ex-spouse will not help you achieve this goal. You should attend mediation or joint counseling sessions to learn how to co-parent together in support of your child.

Make all transitions between your home and your ex-spouse's home predictable for your child. Having a set schedule can help make sure your child feels in control of what is happening.

Assure your child that nothing he or she did caused your divorce. Some adopted children want to blame themselves and think they are what is wrong with all of their relationships. That simply isn't true, and it is your job as a parent to confirm this.

Taking time to get your child comfortable with this new arrangement can help him or her overcome the obstacles of being in a single-parent household. Work together, and consider alternatives like mediation to make transitions as smooth as possible.

Source: Creating A Family, "7 Things Divorcing Adoptive Parents Must Do," Dawn Davenport, accessed Dec. 30, 2016

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